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Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

BETWEEN the LINES

Alonzo King's LINES Ballet returns to the Windy City

Griffin's Take Preeminent Sondheim interpreter Gary Griffin mounts two highly anticipated productions of the composer's works at Shakespeare Theater this season.

Philanthropy & The Arts

Cultivating a genuine corporate sponsor partnership based on shared values and mutual goals

ďƒŠ

NEWBIES

Winter 2014

$4.99

ClefNotesJournal.com

World's finest cultural newborns slated for Chicago audiences this winter


2•CNCJAWinter 2014


Contents Winter 2014

38 CNCJA

FEATURES Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

Between The LINES Alonzo King's LINES Ballet returns to the Windy City

Griffin's Take Preeminent Sondheim interpreter Gary Griffin mounts two highly anticipated productions of the composer's works at Shakespeare Theater this season.

Philanthropy & The Arts

Cultivating a genuine corporate sponsor partnership based on shared values and mutual goals

ďƒŠ

12 Newbies

Chicago is a very welcoming town for new, even experimental works in arts and culture. And this winter, the arts community will unveil a bevy of intriguing new art to savor. We have some of the best new projects on tap for the Windy City.

10

16 Chronicling Magic

Some of the magic that first inspired Walt Disney to build his production dynasty now fills a new exhibit launched this fall at The Museum of Science and Industry, an exhibit that pays homage to the animator's enduring legacy.

NEWBIES World's finest cultural newborns slated for Chicago audiences this winter

On the Cover: Chicago Shakespeare Theater associate artistic director and Stephen Sondheim interpreter Gary Griffin (photo by Bob Briskey). Above: Cast of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's 2012 production of Follies, directed by Gary Griffin (photo courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater).

23 In This Quarter Year

Zinny Harris' The Wheel, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Joffrey Ballet and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company are among the Chicagoland performances we review In This Quarter Year.

38 Griffin's Take

One of the foremost Sondheim interpreters, Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Gary Griffin talks with Dan Scurek as he gets set to take on two back-to-back productions of the composer's works this spring. Winter 2014CNCJA•3


From the Publisher’s Desk

Photo by James Steinkamp

Relationships are very tricky things. Each one is individual and distinct with its own nuances and dynamics. Relationships can influence and inspire, or they can dispirit and destroy. They have an enormous impact on just about everything we are and do. The new winter issue of Clef Notes Journal is all about those relationships pivotal to arts and culture creation. Those relationships artists experience over the course of their lives have a huge impact on the works they create. Our cover story is a great example of this. Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s associate artistic director, Gary Griffin, has long been known for his deep connection to the work of composer Stephen Sondheim. Over the course of an amazing career, through his own work and through his interaction with the composer, Griffin’s relationship to Sondheim’s plays is what has elevated him to critical renown as one of the foremost interpreters of the composer’s musicals. And it’s that relationship that will be front and center this season at Shakespeare Theater when Griffin mounts two back-to-back productions of Sondheim works. We had an opportunity to sit down with the director and get some intriguing insight into his relationship with Sondheim’s plays and the pivotal role they’ve had in the direction of his career. We also had a chance to preview the new exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art that examines the ways we look at the city in which we live. City Self demonstrates a fascinating concept: that our individual perspectives of place evolve dramatically as our relationship to that place evolves. It offers some amazing “views” of Chicago and show sides of the city you may have never before Chicago Shakespere Theater on Navy Pier considered. And, one of the pieces I’m most excited about: there’s our inaugural feature in a new series called Philanthropy and the Arts. Our first feature in the series looks at one of the most important arts relationships there is, the dynamic relationship between the artist (or arts institution) and the corporate sponsor. Contrary to what audiences might believe, sponsors are not simply corporate giants that write checks to pay the bills in exchange for advantageous brand positioning. When done right, sponsors can actually become long term partners in the support of a singular artistic vision, and when cultivated based on shared principles, sponsor relationships are able to create an invaluable advocacy that richly benefits every party involved, from the donor to the artists to the audience. With any luck, the Winter 2014 issue of Clef Notes will inspire you to examine your own relationship to Chicago arts and culture—maybe even motivate you to broaden it a bit by getting out there and discovering even more of the amazing artistry that moves you this winter. Turn the page…we’ll get you started. Happy musings!

D. Webb Publisher 4•CNCJAWinter 2014

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts Winter 2014

Publisher D. Webb

Editorial Editor

Patrick M. Curran II

Associate Editors Christopher Hopper Scott Elam Meaghan Phillips

Editorial Support Rachel Cullen

Staff Writers and Contributors Kathryn Bacasmot Jeanette Blaylock David Berner Fred Cummings Valencia Davis Emily Disher Don Fujiwara Cathlyn Melvin Donna Robertson Daniel A. Scurek

Art & Design Art Director

Carl Benjamin Smith

Contributing Photographers Colin Lyons Bob Briskey

Graphics & Design Chelsea Davis Angela Chang

Advertising

Adam McKinney Adam.McKinney@ClefNotesJournal.com Jason Montgomery Jason.Montgomery@ClefNotesJournal.com Subscriptions Clef Notes is published quarterly (March, June, September and December) each year. An annual subscription to the magazine may be purchased by mailing a check or money order for $18 to Clef Notes Publishing, Inc., 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Suite 1107, Chicago, IL 60660. Bulk rates are also available. Credit card purchases may be secured online at ClefNotesJournal.com or by calling 773.741.5502. © 2013 Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the USA.


Photo by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Contents Winter 2014

50 CNCJA

DEPARTMENTS

10 Luminary: Interview with Solveig Øvstebø

The Renaissance Society's new executive director talks shop as she prepares to launch her first exhibition at the museum, setting the stage for a new era at one of Chicago's most vaunted modern art institutions.

18 Shall We Dance? Between The LINES

Choreographer Alonzo King is back in Chicago with his acclaimed LINES Ballet, and they've got two probing works on tap for Harris Theater audiences that will keep them thinking between the lines.

34 Philanthropy & The Arts: The String Too Short

The Chinese proverb that tells the tale of the sting too short aided by the string too long demonstrates that relationship vital to arts proliferation in a city like Chicago, where corporate sponsors work in tandem with arts organizations to realize a common goal, some of the world class arts and culture initiatives we see every season.

50 Curator's Corner: Evolving Lenses Above: Catherine Opie, Untitled 5 (Chicago) from American Cities series, 2004-2005. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange. © 2004-2005 Catherine Opie.

Thoughtful new Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition examines the changing perspectives of Chicagoans, those that know the city and those for whom Chicago is undiscovered country.

Winter 2014CNCJA•5


scuttlebutt

Letters from our readers... some love for the GUIDE

Clef N tes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts

JOAN ALLEN

Back on the Steppenwolf stage

EXPO CHICAGO A global spotlight on Chicago's culture scene

Guide YOUR

to the 2013-2014 season of fine arts in Chicgaoland!

Clef Notes Autumn 2013 Special Issue with the GUIDE to the New Fine Arts Season in Chicago.

Guide The

to the new 2013-2014 season of fine arts in Chicagoland

Our editors' selections for the must-see, can't-miss, best-of-the-best performances, productions and exhibits in the new 2013-2014 Chicagoland fine arts season. By FRED CUMMINGS

Classical Music: Orchestral

I

It goes without saying that Chicago reigns as one of the hottest spots on the planet for intellectually insightful orchestral programming and profoundly brilliant performances of the same each season. Much of that reputation, of course, is due to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, presenting season after season of probing and richly inspired programming that seamlessly weaves sublime classics of the cannon often brilliantly with lesser known masterworks and thrillingly intriguing new works—many their own commissions—to illuminate telling themes in music, music history and trends in composition. Home to one of the preeminent symphony orchestras on the planet and host to the Right: Maestro Riccardo Muti, world’s most celebrated artists music director and principal conductor for the Chicago and conductors, it’s comSymphony Orchestra (photo by Todd Rosenberg).

monly understood that Chicago Symphony Center (cso.org) holds some of the most important concerts in the world each year. And this isn’t just hyperbole. Few audiences get to see the caliber of artistry and programming that Chicago audiences lavishly enjoy every season. The 2013-2014 performing arts calendar holds some terribly intriguing themes for CSO audiences to explore. Maestro Riccardo Muti, CSO’s highly decorated music director, has had a long and passionate relationship with the music of Guisseppi Verdi, which leads to my first recommendation of the season. On October 10, Riccardo Muti will conduct the CSO and the CSO Chorus in a special one-time-only performance of Verdi’s Requiem on the exact 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The concert will feature some powerful vocal fireworks from emerging talents like sterling soprano Tatiana Serjan and tenor Mario Zeffiri. Adding significantly to the potency of Chicago’s new orchestral season is the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago’s Millennium Park (harristheaterchi-

Thanks for your new arts guide (Autumn 2013 Issue)!...As a transplant to Chicago who loves the arts, I was looking for something like it that cold give me a run down of cultural events in the city... You guys pack a heck of a lot of information in that thing. I love it. You can count me as a new fan. K. Henke Chicago – Lakeview Dear Fred (Cummings): I want to thank you personally for including the Duke Ellington opera Queenie as one of your “Best Opera” selections this season (The Guide – Autumn 2013). I had always wanted to hear Queenie live ever since I had first learned of opera in college but have never had an opportunity to see it staged….I was really excited to see that Chicago Opera Theater was performing it this year. Thanks so much for highlighting it.

cago.org) with its October 17 return of acclaimed Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy, this time with renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (making her Harris Theater debut) in tow. Blythe is easily considered heir apparent to Marilyn Horne as the country’s preeminent power diva. The American soprano’s versatility and musical depth will make for a fine compliment to Les Violons and its music director, Bernard Labadie, who have more than mastered the vast chamber orchestra repertoire and bring an uncanny ability to perform each work in a style distinctly suiting its own unique place within the timeline of the musical cannon. Making its second Chicago appearance in as many seasons, Michael Tilson Thomas’ acclaimed young artists ensemble New World Symphony will make its Harris Theater debut on October 19 in an intriguing program celebrating the Harris’ 10th year anniversary season. Thomas will conduct the orchestra—which boasts the world’s most promising young classical musicians—in an evocative work by Italian composer Niccolò Castiglioni, Inverno In-ver-, for which noted director, designer and video artist Netia Jones will create a one-of-a-kind video/visual installation. Jones is best known for her production of Oliver Knussen’s opera Where the Wild Things Are, an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s book. Jones’ work will be co-commissioned by the Harris Theater and the New World Symphony. The Italian-themed concert will open with a selection of violin duets by Luciano Berio that will pair New World violinists with musicians from the Music Institute of Chicago. The performance will conclude with Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score Pulcinella, featuring soloists from Chicago Opera Theater. From November 21 – 24, Tilson Thomas will travel down the road a bit for his return to Symphony Center conducting Mahler’s otherworldly 9th Symphony on a program that opens with the rarely heard Stravinsky’s Elegy for J.F.K., performances of which poignantly mark the 50th anniversary of the President’s assassination. In November (14, 15 & 16), Symphony Center will host guest conductor Charles Dutoit, who will lead the CSO in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, the English composer’s impassioned denunciation of war. The concert is but one of many performances this season over a broad swath of ensembles, artists and venues throughout Chicago celebrating Britten’s centennial anniversary this season. The War Requiem was written to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was rebuilt after the previ-

ous cathedral’s destruction by aerial bombardment during World War II. Set to poems by English soldier and poet Wilfred Owen, the poignant 85-minute work is scored for soprano, tenor and baritone soloists, chorus, boys’ choir, organ and two orchestras (a full orchestra and a chamber orchestra). Underlining the work’s message of reconciliation, Britten wrote the solo parts specifically for an English tenor, a German baritone and the great Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, who was not permitted by Soviet authorities to take part in the Coventry premiere (one of the Cold War’s most notable collisions with the arts). The CSO aptly honors Britten’s intentions in these performances, which feature Russian soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya and English tenor John Mark Ainsley in their CSO debuts, alongside German baritone Matthias Goerne and the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Chicago Children’s Choir. This December (12, 13, 14 & 17) will bring Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya, music director for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, in a return to the CSO with an eclectic program whose centerpiece is performances of Mexican composer Carlos Antonio de Padua Chávez’s scintillating Piano Concerto, featuring Chicago-based pianist Jorge Federico Osorio as soloist. Osorio is in his element here, performing a work fraught with inherent cacophony and dissonance, Osorio is well able to articulate the varied textures and nuances that lie at the heart of this melodic core. Also featured on the program are Antonín Dvořák’s Husitská Overture and Ravel’s famous orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition. In February (6, 7 & 8), Maestro Muti leads the CSO’s first-ever performance of Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style in C Major and his Mass No. 5 in A-flat Major. Italian composer Ennio Morricone’s

C. Moore Chicago – Hyde Park

Music

A Decade At The Harris

Guide to Music in Chicago's 2013-2014 Fine arts Season.

Left: Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (photo courtesy of Harris Theater for Music and Dance); Above left: Conductor Bernard Labadie leads the Canadian chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy. (photo courtesy of Les Violons du Roy); Above left: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya (photo courtesy of the conductor); Right: British conductor Sir Mark Elder (photo by Simon Dodd). 28•CNCJAAutumn 2013

Autumn 2013CNCJA•29

And Something to Think About

Stage and screen luminary Joan Allen (photo courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre). Readers may submit letters to Feedback, Clef Notes Publishing, Inc. 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Suite 1107, Chicago, IL 60660 or via E-mail to Scuttlebutt@ClefNotesJournal.com.

6•CNCJAWinter 2014

No portion of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Clef Notes Publishing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the magazine’s content. However, we cannot be held responsible for any consequence arising from errors or omissions.

There was a nice article in your fall issue (Autumn 2013) on Joan Allen. It focused chiefly on her stage career and her life behind the scenes. I would love to have learned more about her insights on her extensive film career, however. I notice you don’t do a lot of coverage on film projects in Chicago. I'm a local filmmaker and find film projects as essential to the Chicago arts scene as opera and theatre. Plus, film is a universal art and a timeless medium. You should give some thought to the countless film projects that originate from Chicago. You could shine a light on some very noteworthy projects here. J. Levin Wilmette, IL


“The besT-wriTTen, besT-ploTTed, deepesT, mosT “The besT-wriTTen, besT-ploTTed, deepesT, mosT “The besT-wriTTen, besT-ploTTed, mosT daring —–and funniesT— – new play indeepesT, recenT years.” daring— –and funniesT— – new play in recenT years.” “The besT-ploTTed, mosT daring— –and funniesT— – new play indeepesT, recenT years.” –The Wall Street Journal “ThebesT-wriTTen, besT-wriTTen, besT-ploTTed, deepesT, mosT –The Wall Street Journal daring —–and –– new years.” –The Wall Street Journal daring— –andfunniesT— funniesT— newplay playin inrecenT recenT years.” –The Wall Street Journal –The Wall Street Journal

48 BIlly, deaf sINce BIrth, searchINg for the Place where he caN Be heard aNd a famIly that feels lIke home. BIlly, deaf sINce BIrth, searchINg for the Place where he caN Be heard aNd a famIly that feels lIke home. BIlly, deaf sINce BIrth, searchINg for the Place where he caN Be heard aNd a famIly that feels lIke home. BIlly, feels decemBer 2013that –that feBruary 9,home. 2014 BIlly,deaf deafsINce sINceBIrth, BIrth,searchINg searchINgfor forthe thePlace Placewhere wherehehecaN caNBeBeheard heardaNd aNda famIly a5,famIly feelslIke lIke home.

Tribes Tribes Tribes Tribes Tribes ByByNINa raINe NINa raINe By NINa raINe DirecteD By ensemBle memBer By NINa raINe DirecteD By ensemBle memBer By NINaByraINe DirecteD ensemBle memBer austIN PeNdletoN austIN DirecteD ByPeNdletoN ensemBle DirecteD By ensemBlememBer memBer austIN PeNdletoN Featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, Francis Guinan and Molly Regan with Steve Haggard, austIN PeNdletoN Featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, austIN PeNdletoN Francis Guinan and Molly Regan with Steve Haggard, John McGinty and Helen Sadler

Francis Guinan andmembers Molly Regan with Steve Haggard, Featuring ensemble Alana Arenas, John McGinty and Helen Sadler Featuring ensemble members Alana Arenas, John McGinty and Helen Sadler Francis Guinan and Molly Regan with Steve Haggard, Francis Guinan and Molly Regan with Steve Haggard, John McGinty and Helen Sadler Corporate Presenting John McGinty and Sponsor: Helen Sadler Corporate Presenting Sponsor: Corporate Presenting Sponsor:

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Winter 2014CNCJA•7


Out and About

Photos byRobert Carl

Photos by Dan Rest

T

he Grant Park Music Festival held its 2013 Advocate for the Arts Awards in September, honoring former Mayor Richard M. Daley and BMO Harris Bank for their contributions to the arts in Chicago and their transformative impact on the Grant Park Music Festival. The evening was hosted by Bill Kurtis and raised $300,000 in support of the Festival’s free ten week classical music series at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. The evening’s entertainment included a Benny Goodman-inspired rendition of the popular song “Chicago” by Grant Park Orchestra principal clarinet Charlene Zimmerman. The performance was in tribute to Mayor Daley. Other performers included a frequent guest soprano of the festival, Jonita Lattimore, and violinist Amyr Joyner.

(L-R) Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Grant Park Music Festival Artist Director Carlos Kalmar, John Bryan, Grant Park Music Festival President Paul Winberg.

(L to R) Dick Kiphart, Bill Kurtis, Kate Donovan and Dan Gibbons

(L-R) Mary Stolper, Craig Terry, Charlene Zimmerman, Laura Miller and Jon Boen 8•CNCJASummer 2013 8•CNCJAWinter 2014

(L to R) Debra Magad, Sam Magad and Carlen Mines

(L-R) Vern Broders, Francee Harrington, Jill Hurwitz, Kate Donaldson and Ryan Whitacre


O

n October 26, the Women’s Board of The Field Museum hosted its annual black tie fundraiser, A Fair to Remember: Chicago, 1893, celebrating the museum’s new temporary exhibition, Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair. More than 700 guests attended the event, which raised $2.1 million for the institution. Gala guests reveled in the 1890s as performers entertained. Guests also had the chance to be among the first to view the exhibition, which contained objects that have rarely—or never—been on display since the Columbian Exposition.

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ABC7's Kathy Brock and Doug Regan. Photo by Cheri Eisenberg.

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Gala Co-Chairs Leslie Gantz McLamore and Julie Hughes O’Connor. Photo by Bob Carl.

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Jim and Judy Romlin and Harlow and Susan Higinbotham. Photo by Cheri Eisenberg.

Winter 2014CNCJA•9


Luminary

L

By Adam McKinney

Photo Courtesy of The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago

ast fall, The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago announced the appointment of art historian and curator Solveig Øvstebø (‘Săl-vēg ōvst-‘ē-bō’) to the post of executive director, a significant move since Øvstebø’s predecessor, Susanne Ghez, held the post for the past 40 years. Ghez leaves behinds big shoes, to say the least, but shoes Øvstebø is poised to fill nicely. Since arriving this past June, she’s immersed herself in little outside of the Society and the daunting task of curating her first exhibition for the museum, an exhibition that will ostensibly put her thumbprint on the direction the museum will take as it moves toward its first century in 2015. With a robust background in avant garde contemporary art and a keen insight for discovering new visionary talent,

10•CNCJAWinter 2014


Øvstebø just may represent a natural progression for a risk-taking art society that’s bold enough to focus not on amassing venerable collections of important art, but serving as a platform for the discovery of eminent contemporary artists with a thing or two to say. Øvstebø had a thing or two to say about that first exhibition and her short time here in the city. With her partner and small daughter in tow, she’s had her hands full this summer. She’ll expect more of the same as the museum gets set to celebrate its first 100 years next fall.

Is there anything in this selection that tells us about the direction you look to take the museum as it approaches its centennial

Photo Courtesy of the artist

Yes, the past couple months have been very busy. I have spent most of my time in Hyde Park and at the Renaissance Society, so I do not have a total overview of the city yet. But…I really like what I have seen and experienced so far. It is a very special city - beautiful, grand, and energetic. And I love the lake. We live quite close to it, so this summer I swam almost every morning before I went to work.

Photo by Gabrielle Revere

It must have been a busy summer for you, having taken over responsibilities just this past June and already presenting new curatorial focus for the Society. Have you even had an opportunity to get out and see the city?

I am very excited and honored to be able to work with Nora Schultz and to present her first institutional show in the States. I first saw Nora's work in a gallery in Berlin and I was struck by her ability to work from contrary positions...Her work poses complex questions about our reality, though not necessary with an obvious objective or solution. She works with various material, primarily with found objects that she transforms and reconstructs—though this exhibition will also include objects made in her studio in Berlin, which will be integrated in to a larger installation in our space. She has an ability to make work that is spontaneous and process oriented but also controlled and unified with a beautiful formal finish. She is making a complete new body of work for her show at the Renaissance Society.

Norta Schultz, 2013

Is there a particular freedom you find in heading a contemporary art museum that does not maintain a growing collection of works? The Renaissance Society has a very distinct institutional model. It is independent and flexible and has the possibility of being a platform for both experimentation and research. The fact that it does not have to conserve and take care of a collection allows (for) an ability to focus on the exhibitions and artistic production. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your first show as chief curator for the museum is based on a new work by Nora Shultz, an intriguing multi-media artist of unique vision and dimension. Tell me what you saw in Shultz as an artist that led you to curate an exhibition based on her work, an exhibition that will mark your first impression for Chicagoans at the Renaissance Society?

celebration?

I think it is important for the Society to place the work we show within a framework that allows for in-depth exploration and discussion of the issues a specific artist raises. We want to engage in a dialogue with the artists, something that has always been crucial for the institution’s activity. I would like to strengthen and further develop this dialogue by orienting the Society’s program to focus on the commissioning of new artwork. I think it is very important that The Renaissance Society is a place where artists are given the opportunity to develop an idea or concept, to take a risk, to activate the space and our staff. Both staff and space will be in focus as Nora Shultz’ first U.S. showing—Øvstebø’s first exhibition for the Society—launches this winter. The exhibit runs January 12 through February 23, 2014 at The Renaissance Society on the campus of The University of Chicago in Hyde Park.

Winter 2014CNCJA•11


NEWBIES

Some of the world's best cultural newborns make their way to Chicago arts institutions every season. These are our

1

A Red Orchid Theatre will provide the U.S. premiere of Zinnie Harris’ otherworldy play, Solstice, which explores terrorism and a family attempting to maintain their faith and hold onto each other in a world we often, ourselves fear – a world torn apart by violence and inequality. The production runs January 9 – February 23, 2014.

Playwright Nina Raine’s Tribes makes its Chicago premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre on December 5th following the hit Off-Broadway production in 2012. Goodman ensemble member Austin Pendleton is at the helm of what The Wall Street Journal called “the best-written, best-plotted, deepest, most daring—and funniest—new play in recent years.”

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Goodman Theatre’s New Stages series presents a new work of Chicago-based writer Martín Zimmerman that examines the intoxicating nature of war. The Solid Sand Below was first developed as part of the Goodman’s Playwrights Unit—a season-long residency program for Chicagobased playwrights—and was featured as a staged reading in last year’s festival. Audiences will get a workshop view of The Solid Sand at the Goodman December 8 – 22, 2013.

3

Performed only two nights this winter at Theater Wit in Chicago’s Lakeview, kokandy Productions will present Flight, January 20th and 27th, 2014. The new musical is based on the Greek myth, The Flight of Icarus, and follows Daedalus, his wife Aeden, and their son Icarus as they venture on a journey that (true to the work’s inspiration) promises great love at the toll of great risk.

picks for the best newbies on tap this winter.

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2

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Clockwise from top: Playwright Zinnie Harris (photo courtesy of the artist); Cast of Tribes at Steppenwolf Theatre (photo coursey of Steppenwolf Theatre); Playwright Michael Potsic (photo courtesy of kokandy Productions); Playwright Martin Zimmerman (photo coutesy of Goodman Theatre).

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T h e a t e r


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On December 16th, Cello octet Carbide & Carbon, by Chicago Symphony Mead Composer-inResidence Mason Bates, will receive its world premiere at Harris Theater in the Symphony’s popular MusicNOW series, which commissioned the piece. Bates’ new work morphs themes, while sweeping them inventively through individual members of the CSO ensemble players.

7

Choreographer Melissa Thodos and innovative architect Jeanne Gang are combining their talents to create an intriguing, cross-disciplinary, world-premiere dance that explores the fascinating worlds (and intersections) of dance, architecture and physics. The new work, as yet untitled, will premiere at Thodos Dance Company’s Winter Concert 2014 on Sunday, February 22nd, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. The show will be followed by two additional performances at Harris Theater in Chicago on March 8th and 9th.

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Khecari and The Humans, will present a program featuring new works by the three Chicago-based choreographers that helm the two groups: Jonathan Meyer and Julia Rae Antonick (Khecari), and The Humans' artistic director, Rachel Bunting. On the program: Antonick’s ever shifting "cresset: vibrant, rusting," Meyer’s poignant male duet, "Esther and the Omphali," and Bunting’s imaginative "My ghosts wear clothes " (working title). The program takes place February 6, 7 & 8, 2014 at The Dance Center of Columbia College in downtown Chicago.

8

After a 20 year hiatus, the legendary David Crosby returns to his solo roots with a new—sort of self-titled—CD release. The eleven-track Croz was produced with the Crosby’s son, James Raymond, and coproducer Daniel Garcia and will receive its release January 28th. Crosby will promote the new release with two concerts at City Winery on February 8 and 9, 2014.

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Internationally acclaimed composer Augusta Read Thomas composed Resounding Earth expressly for the Chicago-based ensemble, Third Coast Percussion. Read Thomas collected over 125 bells from around the world to combine as a universal expression on one stage producing a beautiful and completely unprecedented sound world. The singular work will showcase Third Coasts’ dexterous aural sensibilities and their distinctive approach to the expression of sound. The concert will take place February 21st at 7:30 p.m at the Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus.

M u s i c

&

D a n c e

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Clockwise from top left: Composer Mason Bates (photo by Ryan Schude); Thodos Dance Company/Studio Gang Collaboration (photo by Katie Graves); The Humans (photo by Daniel Guidara); David Crosby (photo by Francesco Lucarelli); Third Coast Percussion (photo by Saverio Truglia); Jonathan Meyer and Julia Rae Antonick of Khecari (photo by William Frederkin).

Winter 2014CNCJA•13


E x h i b i t s

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In November, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago opened The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology, a new group exhibition tracing contemporary artists’ pervasive interest in history, archaeology, and archival research that has become a newly prominent feature in art produced in the past decade. Consisting almost entirely of work made after September 11, 2001, The Way of the Shovel re-imagines the art world as an alternative “History Channel” concerned with remembering, recording, and responding to historical events. Curated by MCA Manilow Senior Curator Dieter Roelstraete, this exhibition is on view through March 9, 2014.

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Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist is a new exhibition at The Illinois Holocaust Museum and it celebrates the incredible life and tenacity of a 20th century pioneer photojournalist. Gruber’s work stretches beyond five decades, from her groundbreaking photos from the Soviet Arctic in the 1930s to her later work in the 1980s documenting Ethiopian Jews in the midst of a civil war. A selection of vintage prints will be presented alongside contemporary prints made from original negatives, early film footage, and ephemera from her personal archive. This exhibition will be on view at the museum from February 16 – June 1, 2014.

The Smart Museum of Art has curated a new exhibition—one of the first major exhibitions of its kind in the West. Performing Images illuminates the vibrant imagery—rather than ethnographic artifacts—of Chinese opera. The exhibition, which will not tour, explores the depiction of Chinese operatic characters and stories in a wide array of media from ceramics to paintings and textiles—all on loan from a dozen museums across the country, providing a unique opportunity to see such a rich selection of disparate works together in one place. Part of Envisioning China: A Festival of Arts and Culture at the University of Chicago this season, Performing Images uncovers how Chinese visual and performing traditions were aesthetically, ritually and commercially intertwined.

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Clockwise from top left: Deimantas Narkevicius, The Head, 2007 (photo courtesy of the artist); Photo journalist Ruth Gruber (photo courtesy of The Illinois Holocaust Museum); Chinese, Quing Dynasty (1644-1911), Album of 100 Portraits of Personages from Chinese Opera, 19th century. Fourteen album paintings on seven bi-fold leaves, ink and gilt on silk (courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

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Chronicling Magic 16•CNCJAWinter 2014

Above: A section of Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at The Museum of Science and Industry focuses on the making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937); Right: Animator Walt Disney with his flagship animation Mickey Mouse.

New Museum of Science and Industry exhibition unveils treasured finds from Walt Disney's career, revealing fascinating aspects of the animator's early inspirations.

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By VENECIA DAVIS ne can practically feel the magic dancing along their skin as symphonic, colorful, spectrumwide matter floats about the exhibit’s entrance. The spirit of Walt Disney greets your senses and beckons your inner child to its Utopia. In celebration of a man who, more than anyone of his time, understood the human psyche and its abstract need for escape, one can only wonder what distinct intentions were present when constructing Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, a new exhibition that opened this fall at The Museum of Science and Industry. "We wanted to capture things somewhat through the lens of Walt Disney," explained Jeff Buonomo, curator of the new exhibit. "The exhibit itself could have been much more commercial and contemporary. Though, honestly, some don't even know that there was a Walt Disney,” Buonomo points out. “Through several meetings and contemplation, we agreed on minimizing the inclusion of post-death Disney history. It's important to remind older generations (of), and to introduce to the new, the foundation that is so important for our modern notion of Disney to exist today.” The exhibit is a 3-D timeline of Disney's life, revealing intimate details like written scripts, notes, and even details about Disney's financial hardships after making unparalleled creative leaps throughout his career. Shortly after his birth here in the Windy City, Walt Disney spent the first crucially formative years of his life in rural Marceline, Missouri, where an abundance of his time encompassed the company of barnyard animals as friends. "I believe that this kind of rural life was really humbling for him, even at an early age," Buonomo explains. "Those early years had such an impact, that it echoes even still through productions that are released today. His Midwestern upbringing is apparent in many of his creations, including the famed steam trains and railroad attractions of The Magic Kingdom. Those rural starts made it so that nature manifested itself in all of Disney's works." Walt Disney made an attempt at normalcy as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross during World War I. But, of course, upon his return from overseas, he stayed true to his love of animation. And that speaks volumes to the powerful sense of determination Disney always had. As Buonomo explains, Disney sent his brother Roy ahead to Hollywood to set up the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, a small, yet fully functional production company. "There were mounds upon mounds of telegrams that Walt would send to Roy, full of comforting words, telling


Photo courtesy of The Museum of science and Industry

Photos by J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry

him not to worry in the midst of all of the financial risks they were taking. Despite not previously being the biggest Disney enthusiast, it's hard not to recognize the ground breaking steps that he took in the animation world," Buonomo admits. "There's so many different innovations that he did, including the first live-action-animation film, The Alice Comedies, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon Steam Boat Willie, and even further along, the blueprint for Disneyland that was sketched over only a weekend. That is completely unprecedented." Steam Boat Willie is a particularly momentous work as it served as the debut of Mickey Mouse, and quite a debut it was, with a full symphony of music to propel the beloved character (and Disney's career) forward. And these were just some of his first efforts. Buonomo admits that, it quickly became obvious that as prolific as Walt Disney was, the process of selecting Disney-centered artifacts to include would not be easy. "We wanted to include, sort of Waltcentric items in the exhibit. We thought it important to include tidbits about the live-action animation education, Disney TV, and lots of the technology and Animatronics that Walt obsessed over." Buonomo adds, "Honestly, there were enough items and artifacts for us to clear out the entire museum and fill it with Walt Disney history. That says a lot about those who have been left to keep the company going. I really respect the fact that the company had the respect to maintain all of those artifacts. It's nice to know that they can appreciate and look to their past when moving forward to the future." Walt Disney’s final masterpieces, Disney World and EPCOT Center were not completed until after his somewhat untimely death. And in Disney’s absence, one can only wonder what their development could have been like had the innovator’s grace and genius taken part in their full fruition. "In my opinion, EPCOT would have been relatively different, and would still be evolving," Buonomo concludes. "Walt Disney was such a visionary that he had the foresight to know what upcoming societal challenges were—things like the monorail train, which was a great invention, and free public transit. It would have been a great testing ground for concepts that would or would not have been practical in our society." Museum visitors will enjoy footage from Disney World's exciting initial years, Disney TV, as well as over 300 artifacts, including original costumes worn in Disney's live-action films. Get over to the museum and take in early Mickey Mouse merchandise, and even a chance to test your own creative skills at the Animation Academy. What you'll take home is much more than an afternoon of fun, exploring nine decades of Walt Disney history. You'll get a rich sense of the depth and breadth of the legendary animator's imagination and innovative spirit that inspired the creative dynasty that Walt Disney represents today. Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives runs at The Museum of Science and Industry through May 4, 2014. 

Clockwise from top right: Prop storybooks used in the opening scenes of Disney animation classics Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty; Audio-Animatronics were an important Disney innovation used in Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park.; A section on Mary Poppins pays tribute to the film's 50th Anniversary with costumes, props and more; A partial recreation of Walt Disney's formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

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Shall We Dance?

Between Alonzo King brings the acclaimed LINES Ballet back to Chicago with a pair of powerful works to inspire deep thought for audiences this winter. By EMILY DISHER Photos By ANGELA STERLING

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Photo by R.J. Muna

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lonzo King’s LINES Ballet will make its return to Chicago this winter bringing a series of works as part of the Harris Theater’s 10th anniversary season. LINES Ballet is no stranger to Chicago, having just unveiled a multi-year collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago called "AZIMUTH" last season. This winter, LINES will unveil two Chicago premieres. On February 27, the company performs the evening-length “Constellation,” a collaboration with San Francisco based light artist Jim Campbell featuring astounding visual effects and the orientation of bodies to light. Additionally, a partnership with bassist and Grammy Award-winning composer Edgar Meyer, aptly called “Meyer,” will be paired with a third piece for the February 28 performance. This array of work offers Harris Theater audiences the option of attending two performances, and provides an enlightening view of the company’s eclectic body of work. When explaining the name of his company, founder of the SanFrancisco-based LINES Ballet, Alonzo King, has said, “There is nothing that is made or formed without a line…. Lines are in our fingerprints, the shapes of our bodies, constellations, geometry…. a line of thought; a boundary or eternity; a melodic line; the equator. From vibration or dot to dot, it is the visible organization of what we see." This statement encapsulates King’s keen understanding of ballet as the product of universal, geometric principles of energy and evolution. And that understanding drives King's choreography. His works are also grounded in a sense of shared humanity, and perhaps this ideology of shared experience is precisely why King has become particularly well known for his collaborations with world-renowned artists. When asked about these famous partnerships, King responds, “Everything is a collaboration. The dancers are human beings. They are also collaborating. Your mind and body have to collaborate.” Both “Meyer” and “Constellation” beautifully illustrate the ef-


LINES Ballet dancer Michael Montgomery

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"Meyer" with LINES Ballet's David Harvey and Meredith Webster.

fects of talented artists melding their crafts into a seamless production. With “Constellation,” in partnership with Campbell’s stunning light art, LINES Ballet explores design from a myriad of angles. When asked about “Constellation,” King easily drew the connection between the lighting design and a broader human experience of design. Both of these elements—physical and metaphorical—define the work. “Constellation,” as King points out, was inspired in part by the way the ancients oriented their lives around the alignment of the stars. “Sets of constellations are aligned with ancient structures,” King explained. “Certain points in pyramids are aligned with certain constellations that have a physical placement of that same alignment within the human body. That place of magnetic connection and the idea of cause and effect are a map of our lives.” Of course, it’s not merely this idea of design and how life and bodies are oriented, but also the sense of radiance that underscores the piece. “When a human being is joyous/radiant, they shine," King told me. "The goal and the job of the dancer is to radiate….They bring light and light means intelligence and understanding. They are showing us how life can be lived through bravery, through never giving up, through an absorption in concentration that makes the audience disappear, allowing an internal dialogue.” If it's fair to say that “Constellation” is based in light, then it follows that water plays an important role in “Meyer.” A backdrop of synchronized water, created by award-winning designer Jim Doyle, adds texture 20•CNCJAWinter 2014

Photo by angela sterling

Shall We Dance?

to an exhilarating performance. Edgar Meyer’s score for the piece mixes classical and jazz for cello, violin, double bass, and piano, and sets the tone for LINES dancers, whose movements progress through playfulness, contentiousness, and high-energy solos and duets throughout the work. “Meyer” has been noted as having hints of narrative—a rare quality in King’s repertoire that has been labeled by some as abstract. King, however, explains it simply, that there is narrative in everything, and it is wrong to think that an abstract work lacks a story. “Abstractions are thought(s) that are so fine that words are too clumsy for, so you create a symbol that reduces those thoughts and ideas to a form. Dance is thought made visible…. Everything is about something.” Ultimately, King invites audiences to come and experience “Constellation” and “Meyer” for themselves, recognizing that a description of a piece of art could hardly communicate the experience of it. “If we were having a conversation about an orange,” he explained. “And you had never seen or tasted one, and I described it to you, in your head you can mentally try to assess it, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing until you experience it yourself. Go experience it, and then you will have the information. And what you take from it is valid, it is yours. What you need is an open heart and an open mind.” Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet will perform at Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park on February 27 and 28. The company performs “Constellation” on February 27 at 7:30 p.m. The February 28 performance includes “Meyer” and another work to be determined.


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One Thousand Pieces was created with funds from the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work. This project is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Hubbard Street Dancer Jacqueline Burnett in One Thousand Pieces by Alejandro Cerrudo. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

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Tidbits

Academy Awards

The Joffrey Academy of Dance recently announced the winners of its third annual Choreographers of Color Award: Justin Allen, Stefanie Batten Bland and Norbert De La Cruz III. The announcement followed a national call for artists to submit applications, which began in July. Developed to recognize promising young minority choreographers of import, the Choreographers of Color Award presents recipients with a $2,500 stipend and an opportunity to work directly with Joffrey Academy artistic directors. Three world premiere performances will result in Winning Works: Choreographers of Color Awards 2014 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 1, 2013 at Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Tickets will be available January 13, 2014 by calling 312-334-7777 or visiting www.harristheaterchicago.org online.

Ella Inspired

One of Brazil’s most celebrated performers, Latin Grammy winner Maria Rita, will make her return to Chicago for the first time in eight years. The daughter of legendary Brazilian vocalist Elis Regina (a.k.a. The Hurricane) and pianist César Camargo Mariano, Rita took the world by storm in 2003 with her self-titled debut album. Her jazzy vocal style, influenced by singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, adds a distinct spin on MPB (musica popular brasileira). Rita takes the stage at City Winery in Chicago’s West Loop February 5 & 6, 2014.

Discovery in Japan

Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago will bring a taste of Asian culture to the Chicagoland area when the museum unveils the popular multi-media, 1,200-sq. ft. exhibition Japan and In the Spotlight Nature: Spirits of the Seasons on Tuesday, January 28, 2014. The new exhibit offers an in-depth exploration of four regions of Japan (Lake Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Biwa, Sapporo, Kyoto and Fukuoka) through video, audio and visual currently presenting its 36th season, media, as well as authentic props and hands-on interactive activities. has announced the company’s anChildren, families and educators will discover all aspects of the foreign nual Spotlight Ball at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park on culture and reflect on the ways in which their experiences relate and Monday, May 19, 2014. Tony- and differ. Oscar-nominated performer Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kennedy Center Honoree “This exhibit will allow children to explore a concept they’re familand recipient of the National Medal of Honor, will attend and accept Hubbard Street’s iar with, the four seasons, while discovering Japanese customs that are prestigious 2014 Spotlight Award. completely new to them.” noted Sheridan Turner, president and CEO of A native of Riga, Latvia, Mikhail Baryshnikov began studying ballet at the age Kohl Children’s Museum. “It’s a wonderful way for children to realize of 9 and rose to prominence after having danced as principal with the Kirov Ballet that even though traditions may be different around the world, many and leaving the Soviet Union to dance with major ballet companies around the world parts of growing up – play, family and including the New York City Ballet, under the guidance of such choreographers school – are the same as George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. His career has transcended the modeverywhere.” The ern dance world earning him a Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award for his exhibit will be Broadway performance in Metamorphosis and credits in television and film. open until All proceeds from the Spotlight Ball support Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s education, community and artistic programs. For tickets or for more information, call July 14, 2014. 312-850-9744 ext. 130, or email jnewman@hubbardstreetdance.com.

New Digs

Writers Theatre has announced a new $31 million fundraising campaign that will establish the company’s new home – a theatre center designed by Chicago’s Studio Gang Architects, led by principal Jeanne Gang. The new On To A New Stage Campaign promises a center that will provide Writers Theatre with two intimate, state-of-the-art performance spaces under one roof (to be located on the site of the current Woman’s Library Club of Glencoe), patron and artist amenities, and rehearsal and production space. The center is meant to ensure Writers Theatre’s future as a cornerstone of the Chicagoland cultural community and strengthen its national reputation as presenter of some of the finest theatrical productions in the area.As Kathryn Lipuma, executive director of the Woman’s Library Club, points out, the new center is expected to be a boon to the already robust slate of cultural attractions along Chicago’s North Shore. “Writers Theatre’s new center has been developed in partnership with the Woman’s Library Club and the Village of Glencoe to build a strong sense of place and community and attract visitors to performances, restaurants, shops and open spaces,” said Lupima. “Along with the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Botanic Garden and Kohl Children’s Museum, our new home will help strengthen Chicago’s North Shore as a national destination for culture.” The project has already garnered a prestigious (and highly-competitive) National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Grant, which recognizes civic collaborations that engage in creative place-making to enhance and revitalize their communities. The NEA application was unanimously supported by local, state and federal government officials.

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Clockwise from top right: Celebrated Brazilian singer Maria Rita (photo courtesy of City Winery); Children enjoy the new Japan exhibit at The Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago (photo courtesy of the museum); Rendering of the new Writer's Theatre theatre center in Glencoe (photo courtesy of Studio Gang Architects); Legendary choreographer and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov (photo courtesy of the artist); Choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland (photo courtesy of Joffrey Ballet)


In This Quarter Year

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Theater Review

Mälkki Leads Through Delightful Allen Returns in CSO Important, Haunting ZinnieProgram Harris By KATHRYN BACASMOT By DANIEL A. SCUREK Contemporary Works Work

Photo by Michael Brosilow

November 4, 2013 – “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it,” is how the slightly misquoted George Santayana phrase goes, and there’s a reason why so many people know these words: we live in a world filled with the negative consequences of repeated actions.

Steppenwolf ensemble member Joan Allen (Beatriz), Emma Gordon (The Girl) and Daniel Pass (The Boy) in Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s American-premiere production of The Wheel by Zinnie Harris

War itself might be the best example as history shows no sign of abating the course of action while simultaneously revealing endless examples of its horrors. War and its repetition sits at the heart of Zinnie Harris’ play, The Wheel, making its American premiere at 24•CNCJAWinter 2014

Steppenwolf Theatre. Beginning in Spain on the joyous occasion of her wedding, the impoverished Rosa (Chaon Cross) and her sister, Beatriz, (played by ensemble member Joan Allen in her first Steppenwolf turn in 22 years) put the final touches on the wedding feast. Then soldiers begin arriving to take over the farm. France has invaded Spain and the soldiers have the legal right to take over the strategically-placed farm. Needless to say, the wedding is off. But things get further complicated when Beatriz begrudgingly becomes the guardian of a child whose father was sent packing due to traitorous suspicions. Over the course of the play, Beatriz treks through several time periods and worldwide locations in an attempt to reunite the girl (who doesn’t speak) with her father. But this is no ordinary girl, and this is not a travelogue. The girl has magical powers and the locales are familiar stops in the history of war and misery: Germany during World War II, the Vietnam conflict, Europe during the Bubonic Plague. And Beatriz is far from a bleeding heart: she wants the girl off her hands (during her travels, she also inherits a boy and a baby). She has few kind words to say about these children—and many harsh ones. And this selfishness (coupled with the selfishness of almost everyone encountered) becomes the basis for the girl (and the boy’s) understanding of the world. Still, the vein of compassion that prevents Beatriz from simply abandoning the children shows why she ends up being the only person capable of the task: if it were up to any other character in the play, the children would have no chance. The cruelty witnessed by the children steer their own actions toward cruelty—particularly the girl. Early on she uses her supernatural gifts to create a butterfly; later she uses them to unleash horror in an effort to secure drinking water. But this cruelty becomes the behavior learned from the world around her and often at the hands of Beatriz. Humans beings are not simply objects and should not be treated as such. Otherwise, this very well could be the only method of learning we understand. Joan Allen manages to convey every facet of Beatriz without slipping into contradiction. She moves from cruelty to compassion with logic; after all, these things exist in all of us. In fact, the entire cast handles multiple roles and heavy technical effects with the ease of a Swiss timepiece. Ensemble member Tim Hopper is another standout, playing soldiers from different time periods with such specificity, you could easily miss the fact that he's one actor play many roles. Emma Gordon shines as the hauntingly silent young girl, reflecting the world’s cruelty without saying a single word. Zinnie Harris has accomplished a haunting, surrealistic work that needs to be seen. Though one wonders how such incredible technical effects could be accomplished by most theaters, one can’t overstate the brilliant accomplishments of the design team, who—together with director Tina Landau—have managed to weave demanding material into a seamless ballet of destruction. Regardless of how often it gets staged, this astonishing work needs to be seen, read and remembered.


Dance Review October 16, 2013—It was as if a picture book came to life as Stanton Welch’s “La Bayadére,” presented by the Joffrey Ballet, unfolded on the stage Wednesday night. With beautifully painted backdrops and dazzling costumes (both designed by Peter Farmer), an exoticized picture of an Indian court comes to life before your eyes. The Joffrey’s dancers bring to life the love, jealousy, and vengeance dazzlingly imbued within Welch’s staging of this classic ballet. The performance illustrates the tale of Nikiya, the temple dancer, her lover Solor, and the attempt to destroy their love. Victorian Jaiani seemed to transcend the bounds of the physical with magical dancing, this time as the bayadére, Nikiya. She moved with such delicate strength, enchanting as Nikiya, throughout but particularly in the poignant Act III. While Fabrice Calmels, a dancer of tall stature, always Joffrey Ballet on stage at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in "La Bayadére." appears larger than life on stage, he is particularly towering as the High Brahmin in this ballet. Calmels and Jaini become a perfect contradiction in appearance. Dylan Gutierrez dances the role of Solor, who instantly falls in love with Nikiya. Gutierrez seemed to hit his stride by Act III, when he and Jaiani (as the ghost of Nikiya) perform a series of lovely duets. April Daly, lovely in her precision, performed a perfect series of fouettés as the duplicitous Gamzatti. Daly shone throughout, with her gorgeous extensions and on-stage personality. Act II is rife with vibrant costumes and exciting episodes as the wedding celebration for Solor and Gamzatti commences. The staging here is striking, particularly as Daly and Gutierrez perform with the corps. The harem pants add distinct flare to every spin, enhancing the aesthetics of the palace garden scene. The corps held the audience captivated during the famously challenging ballet blanc progressions and extensions in Act III, despite the fact that the choreography and costuming make any and all inconsistencies highly visible. Steeped in lovely arabesques and tutubouncing bourées, the Kingdom of the Shades transports the viewer to a dream-like world in stark contrast to the vibrant, exotic prior scenes. The white tutus diverge starkly from the midriff-baring ensembles, and floating harem pants of the rest of the ballet. “La Bayadére” is the complete package—an exciting story, a cast of diverse characters, lavish costumes and sets, and gorgeous dancing not just from Joffrey Ballet’s soloists, but also its talented corps.

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Winter 2014CNCJA•25


Opera Review

Elegant Staging Balances Puccini Drama in Lyric's Butterfly By FRED CUMMINGS October 23, 2013–To say Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is an opera spilling over with emotion is a colossal understatement. In fact, it is a colossal under- understatement. In Butterfly Puccini crafted a score full of emotionally charged compositional weaponry, much of which lined the toolbox of many a great early 20th century composer. Broad sweeping phrases, richly layered orchestration and lovely, warm harmonies—whose occasional dissonances resolve satisfyingly into tonal bliss—lend themselves beautifully to the pendulum of emotion upon which Butterfly depends, a pendulum that swings from extremes of sheer delight to heartbreaking despair. Of course, Butterfly’s story is the chief proponent of emotional energy here. Based on an early 20th century short story and play, Madama Butterfly tells the tragic tale of a 15-year-old Japanese geisha named Cio-Cio-San. Coming from a once well-to-do family, hard times have forced Cio-Cio into a career performing as geisha Madame Butterfly. She and her family happily look forward to a reversal of fortune, however, through a brokered marriage to wealthy U.S. Naval officer B.F. Pinkerton. The two wed, Pinkerton ships off, and for three years—to the grim dismay of everyone involved—Butterfly waits and

waits and waits for her American husband’s return. For the story to work, the production hinges succinctly on presenting a truly believable dose of massive naïveté. First, we must accept that Butterfly is naïve enough to believe her carefree U.S. serviceman would marry a Japanese geisha with any real intent to return to a life with her one day; then we have to accept that Pinkerton, a seemingly intelligent adult male, is naïve enough to believe his teen bride would take their marriage vows as blithely as he apparently has. The message of Madama Butterfly is lost entirely if we think, for even a moment, that Cio-Cio-San is in it for the money, as her family suggests, or that Pinkerton is simply an unfeeling lothario. We have to trust in the mutual naïveté of the principal voices at work here if that emotional pendulum is to swing as widely as it’s meant. Of course, with a work of that much passion comes the temptation to depict it with flamboyant staging. But Lyric Opera wisely stuck to the very staid, elegant production executed by director Louisa Muller and designed by Christopher Oram. Lyric’s minimalist set emphasized the unusual depth of the Civic Opera House stage and the open, airy Japanese architecture of Pinkerton’s new home, with classic lines and

Photos by Dan Rest

MaryAnn McCormick and Amanda Echalaz in Lyric Operas fall production of Madama Butterfly.

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a beautiful, ethereal backdrop of the Nagasaki mountainside. first downbeat. He breathed an airy spontaneity into the composer’s An economy of movement also graced this staging quite nicely, most familiar melodies with lavish phrasing and well crafted rubato employing ostentation only when most impactful—as in the clos- that balanced a brisk tempo. ing moments of the first Keeping pace with act. Bonze, Cio-Cio-San’s Lyric’s orchestra was uncle (a Buddhist priest) South African soprano bursts onto the wedding Amanda Echalaz in the celebration to disown his titular role. Echalaz has young niece because of a bright, lovely arch her clandestine shift to to her voice. She sings Christianity—something with a gorgeous fluttershe does in honor of her ing tone that does not new American husband. shy away from Puccini’s The more elegant staging ornate writing. She capmade the contrast of these tivated the house with few moments of drama a steely vocal control much more visceral in the to depict a passionate end. young bride undaunted As for the vocal depicby an incredulous comtion of these emotional munity of detractors. Her extremes, Lyric could not entrance aria, Ancora un have selected a more appropasso or via, was sung priate cast. with poignant phrasing B. F. Pinkerton was vivand a stunning ethereal idly depicted by American elegance that matched the tenor James Valenti. Valenti Amanda Echalaz and James Valenti in Lyric Opera's fall production of Madama Butterfly. grace and sophistication knows this role well, having the scene depicted. brought it to life for major Serving as vocal balopera houses from London to Dresden to Paris and San Francisco. ance for the story’s heroin was mezzo-soporano Maryann McCormick And his understanding of the nuances at play here showed consider- as Suzuki, Butterfly’s protective servant. With a deeply resonant tone ably on Lyric’s stage. Pinkerton can easily come off as simply a cad, and sublime lower register, McCormick proffered a chilling austerity out to get as much pleasure his Japanese tour can muster. But even in Suzuki, who does her best to present a supportive friend for the in his first act duet with baritone Christopher Purves, Dovunque al young bride while trying to inject a sense of reality into the deterioratmondo, where he espouses the carefree life of a sailor sucking all the ing situation. pleasure he can out of his travels, Valenti approached the staging with Character tenor David Cangelosi sang the role of Goro with an ala deportment of sheer oblivion and sang with an authenticity that lent most vaudevillian panache. As the seedy marriage broker who brings itself to the idle musings of misguided youth. together Pinkerton and Butterfly, Cangelosi brought a rather smarmy The tenor also has the lyrical chops to make Pinkerton’s emotional sophistication to the mix of characters. While his voice was quite adjourney stick. From the first declarations of love for his new bride to ept at the artistic nuances inherent in the role, he often struggled to be his final scenes’ impassioned affirmations of regret, even if his actions heard above the orchestra at its highest dynamic. Still, his sly, savvy are ill conceived, we believe in his sincerity. He delivered Puccini’s cynicism created just the right counterpart for the wealth of naïveté melodies with a warm, sensuous ardor, backed by a powerful vo- commanding the stage. cal core that kept him high above Lyric’s robust orchestra the entire In the final act, however, all of that naïveté is ripped away and production. our couple is faced with a reality neither—for a moment—ever conServing as Pinkerton’s moral compass, British baritone sidered. Confronted with the knowledge that Pinkerton has moved on Christopher Purves’ Sharpless was a little less convincing at the out- with a new bride, and without nary a word, Cio-Cio-San is faced with set. Admonishing the sailor not to hurt his young bride from the be- the reality that her happily-ever-after is never going to come. With his ginning, that “she believes in you,” Purves’ stage presence seemed to young son in tow, she has to accept that she will have to return to life be more one of indifference than anything else. Yet, as the production as a geisha, a path she’d sooner die than follow. ensued, we began to see a Sharpless genuinely pained with regret for Pinkerton learns that, contrary to his own assumptions about their the decision to act as intermediary in the whole affair. It’s when we marriage, Butterfly has not forgotten him and is left devastated after see Purves functioning as the ax by which Butterfly is hewn that the realizing what he’s done. At the final curtain, Butterfly has fallen on sincerity of his performance shines more brightly. the same dagger that her father used to take his own life years before. Of course, his lush baritone voice is anything but ambiguous and In Wednesday’s performance, Valenti, as Pinkerton, remained onstage in it we hear the compassion for Butterfly conveyed by a rich, warm to suffer the vitriol of the appreciative Civic Opera House audience, tone and buoyant, lyrical phrasing revealing real depth and maturity who demonstrated their approval with playful jeers as he took his curin both the character and the artist. Both he and Valenti were quite tain call—a reward for a job well done. the match for Lyric’s orchestra, which lent a healthy dose of nuance Madama Butterfly will return to the Civitc Opera House stage in to Puccini’s lush orchestration. With a crisp articulation of the score, January with soprano Patricia Racette and baritone Stefano Secco in Italian conductor Marco Armiliato kept a steady baton from his very the lead roles.

Winter 2014CNCJA•27


Classical Concert Review

Mälkki Leads CSO Through Delightful Program of Contemporary Works

Photo SImon Fowler

By KATHRYN BACASMOT

Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki

October 22, 2013–On Tuesday night at Chicago's Symphony Center, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki, with guest violinist Leila Josefowicz, presented a thrilling program of twentieth century music. Opening the evening was Suite No. 1 from The Tempest, Op. 109, by Jean Sibelius. Mälkki led the orchestra in a wonderful reading of the score, which originally served as incidental music to a production of Shakespeare’s play of the same name. The only shortfall in the performance was the final movement, meant to depict a storm. The movement lacked the delineation in shading necessary to create a truly layered voicing. Instead, the performance seemed to depict a wall of sound. Yet, the performance was impressive enough to elicit noticeable delight from the Symphony Center audience. Canadian-American violin soloist, Leila Josefowicz, gave a brilliantly arresting performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D. Amidst a collective of young, exceptional talent, she has carved out a unique career for herself, propelled, in part, by her keen interest in exploring improvisational music, as well as new music. Stravinsky’s dialect, which weaves together elegant classicalism, and raw modernism, is perfectly suited to the sound Josefowicz has honed through her intimate knowledge of a broad range of styles. She brought the right amount of aggression and grit to her interpretation, giving full dimension to the textures of the work. 28•CNCJAWinter 2014

One key aspect of this concerto is the way it seeks to take the idea of the Romantic era concerto, rip out the seams, and reconstruct it into something entirely new. Perhaps Stravinsky was borrowing from the Baroque concerto grosso when he ensured the soloist was never playing alone. It was delightful to witness how Josefowicz handled the collaborative aspect. At times, she stood facing the audience as a soloist, and during certain passages, turned to engage the players on stage behind her. The second half of the program offered a wonderland of orchestral color and timbre. Thomas Adès’...but all shall be well, Op. 10, named for a line in the poem "Little Gidding," (which is part of The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot) begins with shimmering tintinnabular effects that were performed impeccably by CSO percussionists. The work slowly opens into a beautiful expanse, one that may lack a bold central melody, but has an overwhelming sense of lyricism. It primed the listeners' ears beautifully for Claude Debussy’s, La Mer (Three Symphonic Sketches), one of the composers’ most popular works, and a masterpiece of symbolism transmitted in sound. The orchestra maneuvered La Mer's ebbs and flows in perfect ensemble, punctuated the shifts of light and shade, and crisp swells. Refreshingly, Mälkki brought an ever-so-slightly restrained touch to the work, which can often be interpreted far too romantically.


Dance Review

Bill T. Jones' "Story/Time" Engages the Senses By EMILY DISHER October 24, 2013 - As the Thursday night Collumbia College Dance Center audience awaited the commencement of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's “Story/Time,” the quiet stage revealed a sprawling taped grid and a simple desk lined with green apples. Before the company entered, Jones himself stepped out to offer his audience a little exercise in timing—an exercise that proved 60 seconds is a long time when the crowd is silent and anticipatory. The stillness of the house, however, was soon broken, as the company entered the stage. In no time, the theater would become over-saturated with delights, confusions, distractions, and satisfactions of the senses, which would determine just how long—or how short—one minute could actually be. “Story/Time” is, as its name suggests, a work dealing with stories and timing. The company performs 70 one-minute dances, paired or juxtaposed with 70 one-minute stories, and a variety of sounds or music as accompaniment. Each element—music, dance, and story— is selected at random prior to the performance. As a result, these elements, when combined, do not necessarily match. When the piece began, Jones seated himself center stage behind the desk, from which he would deliver each 60-second narration with his distinctively silky voice. Narrative vignettes, both personal and impersonal to Jones and his company, were each read aloud— some more quickly than others—combined with the dancers and music to create 70 distinct experiences. As the production began, I found that I could not simultaneously absorb all of the sensory elements displayed before me. While experiencing “Story/Time,” I was aware that I could only seem to grasp at snippets of the story, the dancers, and the sound. Sometimes the story captivated me. Other times I was lost in the dancing. And

sometimes the music became so cacophonous it drowned out the story, and even the dancing became difficult to absorb visually. Occasionally, the elements would seem to combine with such harmony, I felt that I was fully immersed in the moment. Like the stories themselves, the dancing and the music varied from pleasing to downright uncomfortable to experience. Moods evolved over time, or changed on a dime. Sometimes the dancing remained tightly confined within the rectangular grids on the stage floor, and sometimes it burst across the stage with no regard to borders. Occasionally, a story surpassed its minute, and some finished just a few seconds shy. And as the dancing, narration, and music worked with and against such artificial borders as time or gridlines, each element became a masterful showcase of Jone's brilliance. The dancing was as luscious as it was harsh, but the company captivated with each mood. The stories themselves were beautifully crafted, rolling off of Jones’ eloquent tongue into the house. “Story/Time” challenges its audience to have no expectations. I went in expecting a challenge, myself. Choreography mismatched with short stories juxtaposed with music, all selected at random— it seemed my brain would struggle to make sense of it all. What I found, however, was that after a short time, you stop trying to force connections on the elements and just experience the piece(s). Moments of coherence felt highly satisfying. The disconnections sometimes created humor, or challenged the comfort zone. I do not know how much one can internalize in the span of 60 seconds, or 4,200 for that matter. But I’m certain that 70 minutes with “Story/Time” is only enough to whet the appetite. I already look forward to Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s return to Chicago.

Photo by Paul B. Goode

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in "Story/Time."

Winter 2014CNCJA•29


Theater Review

Raven Theatre Gives Bountiful Charming, Thoughtful Staging By CATHLYN MELVIN November 10, 2013 - The Trip to Bountiful sends us on a two-day journey where underneath Jessie Mae’s mean-girl veneer. across western Texas as an aging mother, Mrs. Watts (Millicent Hurley The drive from Houston to Bountiful is about two hours, but it takes Spencer) attempts to escape her playwright Horton Foote a bit longer squabbling daughter-in-law, Jessie The Trip to Bountiful is a pleasant story about to take us there. With three acts and Mae (Eleanor Katz) and toss off two intermissions, this is an epic ride, the cramped quarters of their urban home, family, and what we choose to live for.... showcasing five locales and a strong apartment in exchange for the open ensemble of minor characters who skies and farmhouses of Bountiful, weave in and out of the story. Conor her girlhood home. Clark is charming as a young bus ticket As Mrs. Watts, Spencer pulls us from place to place, sometimes qui- clerk in a town where Mother Watts finds herself for the night, and where etly reminiscing about her peaceful life in the town she hasn’t seen in 20 Larry Carani is the level-headed Sheriff. Jen Short is perfectly lovely as years, and sometimes fighting against everything to see it again. For Mrs. Thelma, a compassionate fellow bus traveler, who takes the older passenWatts, there is no life without Bountiful, and so each fight is a fight for ger under her wing. Before parting ways, Mrs. Watts aptly remarks how her life. In the many quiet moments of calm contemplation, her peace nice it would be to have a daughter like Thelma: “sweet, kind, and pretty.” contrasts with Jessie Mae’s sometime heavy-handed crowing, judgment, The Trip to Bountiful is a pleasant story about home, family, and what and negativity. The playwright and the director set Jessie Mae up from the we choose to live for – an excellent tale of kindness to take with us into get-go as the villain, and we miss out on the warmth that lives even in the the holiday season. most iniquitous of adversaries – and which I’m sure can be found some-

Photo courtesy of Raven Theatre

Larry Carani and Millicent Hurley Spencer in The Trip to Bountiful at Raven Theatre

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Theater Review

Poignant Smokefall a Tour de Force for Goodman, Haidle By DANIEL A. SCUREK October 24, 2013 - Dramatic art at its best illuminates truths that otherwise typically confound us. Stephan Adly Guirgis’ 2005 play, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, for example, goes far in giving a plausible idea of how hell might exist in the presence of a forgiving savior: it’s not God who puts us in hell, Guirgis asserts; we put ourselves there because of our inabilities to forgive ourselves. Noah Haidle’s new work, Smokefall, premiering in the Goodman’s Owens Theatre, beautifully offers many such painful revelations—painful because we see truth at work and instinctively know a process both greater, yet completely controlled by us, is at work. The style is called “magic realism” but any historian of theater

Photo by Liz Lauren

speaking altogether three years earlier for no apparent reason. Of course, no one can know how the unborn twins feel about all this but the second scene provides the answer as it occurs entirely in Violet’s womb, where her two fetuses discuss, argue and philosophize over the plusses and negatives of entering an often cruel world. Act II takes place many years into the future. Mike Nussbaum now plays one of the twins many years later. Guy Massey is his estranged son, and Beauty returns—nearing 100 years of age—looking quite the same but now quite verbose, relating her attempts at finding her estranged father. If the quality of a play were nothing more than its plot, then this one would be quite the Catherine Combs (Beauty), Mike Nussbaum (Johnny) and Guy Massey (Samuel) in Noah Haidle's Smokefall at Goodman Theatre; (inset) roller coaster, careening Eric Slater and Guy Massey (Fetus 1 and 2). through several decades. But that’s the point—and why this brilliant script is much more than its plot line. Things repeat; people revisit through genetics; love is a struggle that we can never tie into a pretty bow, though we struggle because of its necessity. We hurt each other, we fight for each other, we save each other. And in doing so, we save ourselves. The flawless cast work in astonishing harmony given the burden of several large, multiple roles. Anne Kaufman’s seamless direction must get mentioned; a play with so much internal and external to p o g r ap h y could easily can tell you that Smokefall is truly at the most accessible extreme of get muddled absurdism. Events and characters make understandable choices in a despite the linear timeline. The play takes place in the home of Violet (Katherine quality of Keberlein) and Daniel (Eric Slater) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. writing. But They inherited the home from Violet’s aging father, the Colonel Kaufman keeps (brilliantly played by Mike Nussbaum), who lives with them along the tempo terse yet with their 16-year old daughter, Beauty (conveyed in a haunting perfluid; never seeming formance by Catherine Combs). The very pregnant Violet continurushed or improperly paced, but ally converses with the twins in her belly and a narrator. Footnote fluid. (Guy Massey) provides the backstory as well as insights into the Noah Haidle has written one of the finest new plays to emerge twins’ responses to Violet’s updates and the household in general. in years, surely one of the most original. His absurdism isn’t cold And there’s plenty to respond to. The Colonel struggles with but caring; he creates a dreamy world that seems fantastic but, at the memory loss, often slipping into past realities; Daniel, kind, intellicenter, exists in hard reality. Like Stephen Adley Gurgis’ The Last gent, loving, has reached a breaking point with the burden of the colDays of Judas Iscariot, Smokefall illuminates a truth: love is hard onel as well as the dread of raising the two anticipated children; and and painful; love anyway. Beauty—a deeply compassionate, understated character—stopped Winter 2014CNCJA•31


Exhibit Review

Astronomy & Culture Reveals Universal Commonalities By ADAM PHILLIPS November 8, 2013 - As different as the world’s various cultures might seem, most share some very intriguing similarities. The most common similarity across all human cultures is the need to understand our relationship to the larger world around us. In many ways, that’s the underlining principle behind Astronomy & Culture, a fascinating exhibit at the Adler Planetarium that examines how people have looked at the heavens throughout the centuries and relied upon celestial movements and patterns to inform on their own place in the universe. From ancient Egyptians to the medieval Europeans and cultures in the Middle East, people have always looked to the heavens in a quest to make sense of the world around them, and traditionally, Astronomy and Culture draws the lines that connect us in our search for meaning in the heavens. The exhibit begins with two interactive work stations that lay the groundwork for just the kind of exploration Astronomy & Culture presents. Explore five ancient civilizations around the globe and begin to understand how they studied the stars and the sun to gain insight into agricultural practices, hunting stratagem and the changing of the seasons. Learn how ancient cultures from China to Ireland gleaned symbolic significance from the cycles of the moon and connected celestial happenings to experiences here on earth, essentially learning how to “predict” events in our world, fulfilling the universal need to gain a sense of “control” over our own environment. Astronomy and Culture at The Adler Planetarium

Heroes of the Holocaust

were people just like you.

Come be inspired.

IllinoisHolocaustMuseum.org 32•CNCJAWinter 2014


Photo Courtesy of The Adler Planetarium

The exhibit does a great job of packing a world of information in a tightly wound space, with themed sections orbiting cleverly about the exhibit’s core. That core’s chief component includes interactive stations that offer creative ways of testing out the application of the information presented in the exhibition. Astronomy & Culture tells seemingly countless anecdotes about the many ways in which people the world over relied on the sky for order throughout the centuries. Whether as a clock, a calendar or compass, societies have always sought meaning and understanding through the heavens above us. The exhibit also reveals some of the Adler’s extensive collection of historic scientific instruments. From the ancient armillary sphere, whose network of rings were reference points for imaginary orbital lines in the sky, to the astrolabe, a medieval navigation instrument determining longitude and latitude for ancient astronomers and navigators, the exhibition gets visitors up-close-and-personal with some amazing artifacts. So often, we look to the heavens and see only the wondrous spectacle of nature that they represent. But imagine a life without the powerful technological and information resources we have at our fingertips today, when people probed the heavens to satisfy a very basic need for safety and sustenance. Astronomy & Culture helps us do just that and to understand just how universal that probing can really be.

Winter 2014CNCJA•33


the

STR NG too short O Relationships built on strategic vision and common goals core to successful corporate arts philanthropy By DON FUJIWARA

Clockwise from top (opposite page): Arts Alive/45's commemorative Ed Paschke mural; (inset) dance performances were one of 20 distinct events featured in Arts Alive/45's Chicago Artist Month celebrations; Kathy and John Rezny, two of the owners of the family-owned York Furrier; The Museum of Contemporary Art's South Gallery.

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n philanthropy, The Tao Te Ching has this to say: The way of Heaven is like the stringing of a bow. The high are pressed down, and the low raised up. The string too long is shortened, And the string too short is added to. Heaven's Way is to take from what has too much, And give to what does not have enough.

The classical Chinese text does concede that this is not the normal way of things, but it goes on to ask the question, “Who is it that has too much and offers it to a needy world?” For the purposes of this feature, the first in a series Clef Notes has planned on philanthropy and the arts, the “who” would be those firms that support art and culture in Chicago. And, as we’ll see, it’s not just big corporations who give to the arts. Many of the city’s cultural institutions rely on the philanthropy of big business; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) is just one. As Gwen Perry Davis, deputy director of development at the MCA, relates, “Corporate support and sponsorship is an important part of our philanthropic plan. Corporate donors, much like individuals and foundations, are part of an ecosystem that ensures that we are able to accomplish our mission,” Davis explained. “They provide long-term support for our institution.” Calling it an ecosystem isn’t completely figurative. The ecosystem of corporate philanthropy is one in which cultural and financial institutions form symbiotic relationships not only with one another, but also with the wider communities they serve. Diane Whatton is director of U.S. Community Affairs at BMO Financial Group, which—through BMO Harris Bank—sponsors the MCA’s BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works series. “The arts,” Whatton said, “help create an economically viable community and play a partnership role with the many wonderful public and private agencies that enhance our city.” According to Whatton, “Supporting cultural organizations in a community


Photo Courtesy of THe Museum of Contemporary Art

Arts Alive/45 is a community based nonprofit organization that promotes arts and artists on Chicago’s northwest side. It curated Chicago Artists Month for Portage Park in early October. Cyd Smillie, founder and president of Arts Alive, characterizes the group as a small grassroots organization, placing it at the opposite end from the MCA on the size spectrum. While 80 percent of the nonprofit’s budget goes toward production, only 20 percent of its need is covered by sponsorship. Smillie too emphasizes the importance of partnerships: “The personal relationship is key to funding and growing, understandably… It is the trust established by a good working relationship that can make the difference in the real value of the funding for both partners.” Echoing Whatton’s sentiment about the disparity between need and available resources, Smillie said, “There are so many organizations, large and small, all clamoring for the same dollar, most with very compelling needs; as an applicant it is very hard to stand out, as a philanthropic corporation it would be ‘Sophie's Choice,’ I'd think, as to who would get funded and who (would) not.” For small organizations, corporate funding is something of a double-edged sword. While large corporations and museums have the staff and resources to manage the process, it’s still a process—a “comprehensive” and “all-encompassing” one, to use Davis’ words. Smillie related how the paperwork to apply for funding can be prohibitive, if not a downright liability for the small organization. “Five years ago not all of the corporate funders required so much data to substantiate their gift," Smillie explained. "In larger organizations there is now a full-time position for at least one person and usually multiple interns to handle the whole endeavor… For a small organization, usually with volunteer staff, the time necessary to stay abreast of philanthropic opportunities, write the Letter of Inquiry, collect salient data and run the program can be too much. Should the small nonprofit receive a grant, there is all manner of documentation and follow-up that can overwhelm the program itself.” But, just as there are smaller organizations that receive corporate funding, so are there smaller funders. While smaller businesses don’t have the deep pockets of a BMO, their size can prove an advantage in itself. York Furriers is a dealer of furs and fine outerwear and accessories with stores in Elmhurst and Deer Park. In October 2012, York hosted a fundraiser for the regional West Suburban Symphony in its Elmhurst store, and Photos bycourtesy of Cyd Smillie, Arts Alive/45

goes far beyond just writing a check, and there are always more needs than resources. That’s why it’s important to develop true partnerships with local organizations, where a combination of people and funding can be created to generate the greatest impact possible.” It’s not simply about picking up the phone, calling BMO Harris and asking for money but, rather, expanding on existing relationships that have been built upon a unique sense of understanding and a common goal. Said Davis, “The MCA works closely with board members to present a compelling case for support to companies where they have strong professional relationships. As with all fundraising, a peer request is usually more meaningful and more effective. BMO Harris Bank’s support of our Chicago Works series was the result of a multiyear relationship with many members of our trustees and the bank’s decision makers.”

Winter 2014CNCJA•35


Photos bY Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Photo courtesy of York Furrier

over the years, the company has sponsored such cultural institutions as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Elmhurst Art Museum, and Drury Lane Theatre. Kathy Rezny, her husband John and brother John Wagner represent the third generation of owners of this familyrun company. While York lacks a bottomless bankroll, the furrier makes up for it with nimbleness, raw enthusiasm and good old-fashioned hard work. Kathy Rezny says her way of giving is “an easier, friendlier way of doing things.” She exp l a i n s , “Forgoing reams of paperwork, multiple meetings, required board approval and tons of time, York Furrier is able to quickly commit to a project with a handshake or— in some cases—a hug.” York generally requires written notice about one year in advance of the actual event, but once the company agrees to partnership, “the process is simple and very easy.” 36•CNCJAWinter 2014

Sponsorship isn’t just about money. Rezny described how smaller companies tend to give additional support in the form of product donations and time spent. Where a bank acts as corporate sponsor, York will provide gift certificates, furs for auctions, goodies for goody bags, ads, even tickets to a particular event. Now, with all the time, money and effort that go into supporting the arts, the question arises—is there such a thing as too much help? Do corporate sponsors exert too much influence on performances or exhibits they’ve funded? Are cultural institutions vulnerable to a “too many chefs” scenario with their sponsors? Whatton says no, “Our role is purely philanthropic, so we rely on the leadership and Top: Installation view, BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: José Lerma, MCA Chicago, July 2 - December 3, 2013; Inset: BMO Harris Chicago artist Lilli Carré, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, August 8, 2013; Left: Violinists from the West Suburban Symphony perform at the regional symphony's October 2012 fundraiser hosted and sponsored by York Furrier.


boards for the organizations we support to determine the performances everyone sees.” Davis agreed, pointing out that BMO has “been the strongest advocates that their philanthropic gift should support the vision and curatorial expertise of the museum.” Rezny goes as far as to point out, “We would not presume that our contribution would allow us to dictate how or what is to be displayed or performed.” Of course, every sponsor relationship is not exactly the same. There is no hard and fast rulebook to which sponsors are necessarily held. Arts organizations need to be vigilant about developing that relationship of trust that organizations like BMO and MCA have cultivated. Smillie relates that Arts Alive actually pulled away from a recent project after a corporate sponsor made numerous changes to the content of the work in question. To be fair, the sponsor did own the rights to the project, but as the relationship evolved the artists began to see themselves as mere labor and not creators. This kind of conflict can result if the scope of a project is not clearly and completely fleshed out in advance of engaging a sponsor relationship. Nevertheless, arts funding remains vital to bringing any arts project to fruition. The Chinese proverb of the string too short resonates all the more today. Four years after the Great Recession, we’re still digging out from under it. Not unexpectedly, the calamity that befell the overall economy had more than a passing effect on the ecosystem of corporate philanthropy. “There is no doubt,” Whatton said, “the recession hit the arts community very hard, as it also impacted so many across the country. That’s why it’s very important to look at how every dollar can have the greatest impact, and I believe most organizations have had to really look at truly maximizing their philanthropic support in light of the changes we have seen in the economy.” Davis asserted that the 2007-2009 downturn changed the geography of cultural philanthropy, literally. “During that period, corporations established new giving priorities and aligned their giving with new geographic locations as a result of mergers and acquisitions,” she explained. In the face of declining corporate support, the linchpin of the MCA’s coping strategy has become, not surprisingly, preservation of corporate partnerships. Davis pointed out, “The MCA focused on the most critical part of any philanthropic relationship—communicating with our partners about all of our projects and programs. By staying in touch with our corporate contacts—the corporate contributions staffs as well as senior executives—we’ve been able to maintain positive, impactful relationships.” The ramifications of the recession haven’t been just monetary. Perhaps more importantly, protocols, perceptions and attitudes have

shifted as well. Recall Smillie’s account of how much more comprehensive the application process has become over the last five years. Regarding the process of obtaining corporate funding, said Smillie, “The expectations of foundations have grown from individualized requests to a fairly standard procedure.” Which isn’t to say all the change has been for the worse. Whatton sees art transcending the purely cultural, becoming of real-world economic benefit. In her words, “No matter what happens, the arts play an integral role in our lives. Perhaps people have become even more aware now that there are innovation and job creation components to the arts that are very important to the vitality of Chicago.” It is that awareness, at least in part, that moves companies like BMO Harris and York Furriers to step up to the plate, recession notwithstanding. As Rezny said, “It is during these harsh economic times that most of these groups find themselves in greater need of support. And as governments and corporations cut their giving budgets, York Furrier feels compelled to ensure that we remain a staunch supporter.” The word “philanthropy” stems from the Greek “to love mankind,” and while it would be naive to ignore the concrete benefits of corporate giving—in the form of tax breaks and branding opportunities—it would be too cynical to think corporate sponsorship isn’t motivated on some level by that love. Kathy Rezny’s words illustrate this: “Being family-owned and operated and living and working in the communities we serve makes giving personal. From our pockets, we personally extend philanthropic support to make life better and more enriched for all.” This exemplifies art’s role as an ennobling force, that what uplifts us about the arts is the simple knowing that the wondrous works we see on museum walls and hear in concert halls were wrought neither by gods, nor even sages, but by ordinary men and women, and that some of them may not have an artistic bone in their bodies, just longer proverbial strings and big hearts. Winter 2014CNCJA•37


GRIFFIN'S

take

Shakespeare Theater audiences get set for a double dose of Stephen Sondheim through Gary Griffin's eyes as the preeminent Sondheim interpreter mounts Gypsy and Roadshow at the theater's Navy Pier home this winter.

By DANIEL A. SCUREK

W

We all know Chicago is a fantastic theater work has even seen recognition in London with an Olivier Award nomitown. We stopped needing to prove ourselves nation for his direction of Pacific Overtures (the production itself won for theatrically long ago. Our theater companies Outstanding Musical Production). and our actors have won Tony Awards; our Back home, Griffin has received an impressive eight Joseph Jefferson playwrights have even won Pulitzers. And, Awards. And he was the man chosen to direct the world premiere of quite naturally, actors, writers and theaters the Oprah Winfrey produced musical, The Color Purple, in 2005 (his themselves get most of the press. For even Broadway debut). non-theatrical types, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Malcovich, Letts, Mamet Still, he works hardest at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where he strike a familiar chord, having won national recognition and awards, serves as associate artistic director. Not surprisingly, his list of credits particularly from New York. Perhaps less obvious—but just as critical include plenty of Shakespeare. But a perusal of his resume also reveals to the success of Chicago theater—are those less visible working behind one name that pops up much more frequently than any other: Stephen the scenes. Specifically, Chicago stage directors might actually have the Sondheim. Stephen Sondheim—for those who have spent the past 50-plus greatest influence on the shape of everything on stage and the most crucial years cave-bound—reigns as the crowning composer in American musiingredient in the popularity of our theater. cal theater. A list of his shows reads like a list of best-known American Enter Gary Griffin. It’s no surprise then that, since moving to Chicago musical theater: West Side Story, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the in the Way to the Forum, Company, Assassins, 1980s from Sunday in the Park with George, Pacific his native Overtures, Follies…the list is endless. “What you have to do with Sondheim is you have to leap Rockford, But for Gary Griffin, the affinity of Griffin has Sondheim goes well beyond that of an in. He writes so specifically to character, to the moment... become artistic admirer. With the impact of his you know he pores over every lyric when you’re working one of the Sondheim stagings, he can indeed be most powseen as a collaborator, as one who has on his material." erful forces such a deep understanding of the com-Gary Griffin extending poser's work, he seems capable of interChicago preting it as closely as the creator could theater hope for. Yet it seems to have happened beyond almost by accident. “I know I have this its borders. Although his list of Chicago-area theaters is impressive— identity of being a Sondheim interpreter.” Griffin explains. “And I don’t Chicago Shakespeare, Writers’ Theatre, Northlight, Marriot, Court—his know that it’s anything that I set out to have, that moniker.” But as he delist employers outside Chicago is also extraordinary: the Stratford Festival veloped his artistic palette, and looked to cultivate a longer list of producin Canada, The Old Globe, the McCarter Theatre and Hartford Stage. His tions to his credit, Griffin points out that he discovered there was, “always

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Photo by Bob Briskey

S

Gary Griffin, Chicago Shakespeare Theater associate artistic director. Winter 2014CNCJA•39


Scenes from Gary Griffin productions of Sondheim classics (top) Follies, (inset) Sunday In the Park With George, and (far left) A Litte Night Music at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

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a next Sondheim show clearly in my head.” That fact remains to this day. Right now, there are two Sondheim shows in Griffin's head. Gypsy and Road Show will be staged back-to-back at Chicago Shakespeare Theater this season. Gypsy is, of course, Sondheim’s famous second Broadway smash for which he performed the role of lyricist (the first is probably his most famous show, West Side Story). The second is a lesser known Sondheim work with a troubled pass. Road Show, with a book by John Weidman, has been revised and revamped several times since it was first staged in 1999 under one of its original titles, Wise Guys. As for his approach to Sondheim, Griffin puts it simply: “What you have to do with Sondheim is you have to leap in. He writes so specifically to character, to the moment. All of that is so edited and simplified and clarified… you know he pores over every lyric when you’re working on his material. Where other times you’ll scratch your head and go ‘I have no idea.’ You know there’s a good reason; you pretty much know that if it’s not working, it’s you.” That keen understanding of Sondheim’s work has its roots very early on in Griffin’s education. “In college I was a theater geek who learned shows,” Griffin says. “I heard the score for Company. During the summer I was working at a summer stock company and there was a review called Side by Side by Sondheim—I must have seen it about eight times.” Clearly, from that first experience—like so many a Sondheim fan—he was hooked. But experiencing Sondheim’s magic from the audience is a world of difference from communicating it on stage. Griffin explains that, for a stage director, the process of understanding Sondheim becomes quite challenging when trying to figure out how to present it to an audience. His first attempt was a staging of the early Sondheim classic, A Little Night Music. “It was probably awful,” he insists, “and I was in way over my head—I was still figuring out what it takes to do (it), not necessarily how to do it. But the level of how you have to really be in it, it takes over your life.”

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Winter 2014CNCJA•41


Gary Griffin in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's very own English pub, just off the lobby of the theater at their home on Navy Pier.

This kind of clarity and commitment is part and parcel of what makes Griffin such a natural at Sondheim’s work. Griffin becomes more of a collaborator than just someone hired to direct. Just as Steppenwolf Theatre made Sam Shepard’s True West a hit by breathing new life into what critics in 1980 considered an inferior work, it may very well be that Griffin will illuminate the yet unrefined strengths in Road Show that could indeed elevate it to a Sondheim classic. In addition to Wise Guys, the show has carried the titles, Gold! and Bounce (where it had a 2003 staging at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre), before finally getting its current title in 2008 (and earning positive reviews plus an Obie Award and Drama Desk 42•CNCJAWinter 2014

Award). Still, the show—about two 19th century brothers, Addison and Wilson Mizner, and their attempts to find fame and fortune—does not rank amongst Sondheim’s classics and still must move beyond its troubled past. And Griffin might very well be the one to do just that. He resists the title, but he truly must rank as one of Sondheim’s collaborators. He’s consistently given fresh interpretations to an impressive slate of Sondheim works throughout his career. Besides Pacific Overtures, he’s directed West Side Story (a critical and commercial hit in Stratford, Ontario in 2009), Follies and A Little Night Music, and Gypsy. (The upcoming production


Photo by Bob Briskey

ally used to seeing Follies done in a very opulent way, and I sensed that he thought he was going to see something that was very scaled back…It taught him to have, I think, more faith in his show, to see that Follies can work in many scales and contexts.” When asked about the challenges of staging a 1959 musical, Gypsy, for a 2014 audience, Griffin not only accounts for the modern world’s expectations but also considers the world in which the show’s story is set. “In 1959 when it came out, a lot more of the audience had lived through the period….Now we’re going to do it for an audience (in which) very few people were alive in the years between World War I and World War II." So, as Griffin points out, a narrative context that was taken for granted a halfcentury ago must first be set for today’s audience. That he’ll do with the help of acclaimed composer Rick Fox’s original period orchestration. Performing that orchestration in view of the audience will be a 14-piece orchestra evocative of the vaudevillian period from which Gypsy springs. Then, says Griffin, you have to see the show from the perspective of today’s theater-goer, “What changes in shows— more than shows—is audiences,” he says. “When you say you’re going to do Gypsy in 2014, what you have to be sort of humbled to do is to really try to place yourself in the experience of how we look at things now.” Part of that, Griffin admits, is impacted by the expectations we have of live theater today. For Griffin, however, the immersion of his own self into Sondheim is probably the expectation most anticipated. After all, a director who can surprise even Sondheim with the power of Sondheim will certainly offer Chicago some of the most magical moments of the season in the back-toback stagings of two of the composer’s productions. But Gary Griffin remains unfazed by what might seem a daunting task. For him, staging Sondheim satisfies something deep within inspired by those first viewings of Side By Side many years ago, something that most certainly changed his life, even perhaps ushered him into the path he so famously followed. As Griffin puts it, “…(Sondheim) was my way in.” 

will represent his first of Road Show.) Despite having known Sondheim personally since the 1980s, he does not consider himself a per se collaborator. “We have not had any great collaboration and for no other reason than I do his work as respectfully as possible, trying to realize the goals of what he wrote and conversely, he has trusted me to do that work.” Still, he has gotten important insights through the master himself, and he’s also had the opportunity to provide Sondheim with some illuminating moments of his own. Shakespeare Theater's 2012 production of Follies saw Sondheim in one of its audiences. And, as Griffin pointed out, “(Sondheim’s) gener-

Winter 2014CNCJA•43


Cultural Happenings...

Two years after taking the helm of the historic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, executive director Robert Battle brings back “America’s cultural ambassador to the world” (New York Times) for 10 performances February 28 – March 9, 2014 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Already known world-wide for its dazzlingly brilliant choreography and unmatched elegance, AAADT has become infused with an even richer depth under Battle’s leadership venturing well beyond its core repertoire to embrace a wider range of dance styles and examine thought-provoking topics that speak to an even broader audience. The company celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of American modern dance, while bringing audiences to their feet each and every time.

Dance Diplomats

Lost in Love What happens when love takes you places you never

Discovery in Japan

thought you would go? That’s the question answered by The Middle of Nowhere, winner of the 2012 Sundance Award for Best Director, written and directed by Ava DuVernay. DuVernay’s award winning work will be screened December 6th at 7:00 p.m. at The DuSable Museum of African American History. The hour and forty minute long work follows Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) as she finds herself 180 degrees from the life she knew as a vibrant medical student married to the love of her life, Derek (Omari Hardwick). Derek’s choices have led Ruby down a path she never imagined and a chance encounter with a well-intended stranger leads her to even more frightening directions of self-discovery. The film chronicles a young woman’s turbulent yet transformative journey to emerge whole from a broken path. Admission is free for the event. Inspired by the wealth of religious practices found throughout Asia, and Herman Hesse’s account of Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment, artistic director and choreographer Lin Hwai-Min transforms ancient rites into resonant dance when Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan performs “Songs of the Wanderers.” A visually stunning praise to spiritual pilgrimage, “Songs of the Wanderers” creates a world of intense reverence, distinctly Asian in its imagery yet with powerful relevance far beyond Asia. The New York Times, calls the work “visually stunning and exquisitely performed in deliberate slow motion.” You can see the work for yourself when Cloud Gate brings “Songs of the Wanderers” to Auditorium Theatre March 14 and 16, 2014. Visit auditoriumtheatre. org for more details.

Reverence in Motion

44•CNCJAWinter 2014

Redmoon recently announced a citywide request for proposals (RFP) from Chicago community-based organizations interested in becoming one of 15 different Community Partner Organizations to anchor the Great Chicago Fire Festival. The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival will introduce an annual urban ritual to Chicago in the form of a massive event celebrating Chicago’s spirit of resilience. Preparations will take place throughout 2014, culminating in a free, public grand spectacle float parade down the Chicago River, Saturday, October 4, 2014. The Great Chicago Fire Festival is a project of Redmoon in partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Proposals should be submitted in Word Document format to Proposals@Redmoon.org by December 19, 2013. Redmoon is expected to evaluate proposals before passing them on to an external civic committee comprised of leading individuals from Chicago. Final decision will be made and organizations notified in February, 2014. Questions can be directed to Fatimah Asghar (fasghar@redmoon.org). The full RFP is available here at redmoon.org/about/press.

Worlds Collide

Walking the line between Beethoven and B.B. King, the Chamber Blues experience captures both the sparkling qualities of classical music and the emotional melodic style of blues. Joined by banjoist Michael J. Miles, Siegel will bring his singular blends and balance to the Elgin Community College arts Center 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2014. The concert will also feature Sons of the Never Wrong, whose cult-like following have been tracing their original, turbo-charged alt-folk music for 20 years. Clockwise from top left: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts (photo by Andrew Eccles); Artist's rendering of the Redmoon Theatre Great Chicago Fire Festival (photo courtesy of Redmoon); Corky Siegel (center) and Sons of the Never Wrong (photo courtesy of Old Town School of Folk Music); Cloudgate Theatre Company (photo courtesy of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University); Emayatzy E. Corinealdi in Middle of Nowhere by Ava DuVernay (photo courtesy of The DuSable Museum of African American History).


Winter 2014

Cultural Almanac Winter 2014CNCJA•45


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The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.

Bella Voce (Tel. 877.755.6277, bellavoce.org) Holiday Delights Chicago a Cappella (Tel. 773. 281.7820, chicagoacappella.org) Holidays a cappella l l l l Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) First Mondays Concert l City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk/Americaan and roots=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=†, Country/Blue grass = ††] Rick Springfield "Stripped Down" w/special guest William Beckett † l An Evening with Joe Henry* †† l Hot Tuna Acoustic † l Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder* †† l Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore of the Flatlanders* †† l Kenny G Holiday Tour** † The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute † Petra's Recession Five** Michael McDermott † Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (Tel. 312.369-8330, colum.edu/dance_center) Jazz Dance Jam l Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) MusicNOW: Prefuse73 w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Brandenburg Concertos Handel's Messiah by The Apollo Chorus of Chicago Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Winter Series l Joffrey Ballet (Tel. 312.386.8905, joffrey.org) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 The Nutcracker l l l l Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Tsukasa Taiko: Taiko Legacy 10 and Reduction Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Northlight Special Event: Kurt Elling's New Year's Eve Concert (folk) Northshore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie (Tel. 804.673.6300, northshorecenter.org) Salt Creek Ballet's "The Nutcracker" Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (Tel. 312.332.1700, spertus.edu) Matzah to Menorah: A Holiday Jazz Celebration with Alberto Mizrahi, Howard Levy and Trio Globo l Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Holiday: A Chanticleer Christmas l l Schubert Winterreise l Berlioz Symphonie fantastique l l l Beyond the Score: Berlioz Symphonie fantastique l l CSO: Pictures from an Exhibition l Holiday: Welcome Yule! The Chicago Symphony Brass Orchestra CSO: Eschenbach Conducts Bruckner University of Chicago Presents (Tel. 773.702.8068, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu) Rudresh Mahanthappa Quartet (jazz) l

December2013

Photos from left: Conductor RIccardo Muti and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra(photo by Todd Rosenberg); Tsukasa Taiko Legacy (photo by Bob Carl); Members of "The Fab Four" (Photo courtesy of City WInery); Singer Joe Henry (photo courtesy of City WInery).

Music & Dance


Winter 2014CNCJA•47

December2013

A Red Orchid Theatre (Tel. 312.943.8722, aredorchidtheatre.org) Trevor Black Ensemble Theater (Tel. 773.769.4451, blackensembletheater.org) Once Upon a Time: A Dancesicle Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Wicked Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical Elf The Musical Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) The Merry Wives of Windsor Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest (Tel. 847.735.8554, citadeltheatre.org) A Christmas Carol Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) An Illiad Eclipse Theatre (Tel. 773.728.2216, eclipsetheatre.org) Haunting Julia Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) A Christmas Carol The Solid Sand The Upstairs Concierge The Lens of Adventure Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) It's a Wonderful Life: Live In Chicago! An Inspector Calls The Chimes: A Goblin Story Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Little Prince Mercury Theatre (773.325.1700, mercurytheatrechicago.com) The Christmas Schooner Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Sandra Bernhard: Sandyland Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Detroit Piven Theatre Workshop (Tel. 847.866.8049, piventheatre.org) Young People's Company Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) Hellcab RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Elemeno Pea Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) The Mikado Tribes Strawdog Theatre Company (Tel. 773.528.9696, strawdogtheatre.org) Great Expectations Detective Partner Hero Villian Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Appropriate Elegy Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Port Authority

December2013

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Photos from left: Steve Wojtas from The Solid Sand (photo courtey of Goodman Theatre); Cast of the touring production of Wicked (photo by Joan Marcus); Juan Francisco Villa from The Upstairs Concierge (Photo Courtesy of Goodman Theatre); Timothy Edward Kane in An Iliad (photo courtesy of Court THeatre).

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48•CNCJAWinter 2014

December 2013

SNIPPETS

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Exhibit Closes December 22, 2013

Ongoing Exhibits Open January 17, 2014

Exhibit Closes January 12, 2014

Exhibits Close December 8, 2013

Ongoing Exhibits Begin February 13, 2014

Ongoing Exhibit Begins December 17, 2013 Ongoing Exhibit Begins December 26, 2013

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Begins December 17, 2013 Ongoing Exhibit Begins January 25, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 5, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes February 16, 2014

Exhibits Close January 27, 2014

Exhibit Closes January 26, 2014

Exhibits Close January 12, 2014

Exhibits Close January 9, 2014

Exhibits Close January 8, 2014

Exhibits Close January 5, 2014

Ongoing Exhibit Begins January 25, 2014 Ongoing Exhibit Begins February 23, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 3, 2014

The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.

Want more Clef Notes? Sign up online at ClefNotesJournal.com for Snippets, our free weekly e-newsletter with updates on arts and culture throughout Chicagoland. With Snippets, we bring you news, interviews, performance reviews and our weekly picks for Chicago's must-see arts & culture performances!

The Art Institute of Chicago (Tel. 312.443.3600, artic.edu) Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness Christopher Wool 3 in 1: Contemporary Explorations in Architecture and Design Max Kozloff: Critic and Photographer Shomei Tomatsu: Island Life The Mezzotints of Hamanishi Katsunori Holiday Thorne Rooms Neapolitan Crèche: A Holiday Gift to the City Holidays 2013: Opening Something Greater Violence and Virtue: Artemisia Gentileschi's "Judith Slaying Holoferness" Amar Kanwar: The Lightning Testimonies Isaac Julien: The Long Road to Mazatlán Japanese Art of the 1960s: The Challenge of Tradition focus: Monika Baer Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine Devouring Books Dreams and Echoes: drawings and Sculpture in the David and Celia Hillard Collection Ed Clark Expanded Gallery for Arthur Rubloff Collection of Paperweights Cy Twombly: Sculpture Selections, 1948-1995 Ugo Rondinone: we run through the desert on burning feet, all of us are glowing our faces look twisted When the Greeks Ruled: Egypt after Alexander the Great Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Amanda Ross-Ho BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: José Lerma BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Lilli Carré William J. O’Brien Paul Sietsema CITY SELF MCA DNA: Alexander Calder MCA DNA: Warhol and Marisol The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archeology Smart Museum of Art - University of Chicago (Tel. 773.702.0200, smartmuseum.uchicago.edu) Interiors and Exteriors: Avant Garde Itineraries in Postwar France Judy Ledgerwood: Chromatic Patterns Inspired by the Opera: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Video Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture Gigi Scaria: City Unclaimed Wings, Speed, and Cosmic Dominion in Renaissance Italy State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art (Tel. 847.491.4000, blockmuseum.northwestern.edu) The Left Front: Radical Art in the "Red Decade," 1929-1940 Steichen|Warhol: Picture Frame National Mexican Museum of Art (Tel. 773.738.1503, nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org) Outside In

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Art Museums


Winter 2014CNCJA•49

Museum Exhibits

DuSable Museum of African American History (Tel. 773.947.0600, dusablemuseum.org) Kin Killin' Kin A Slow Walk to Greatness Africa Speaks "Charlie Palmer" The Dream Lives On Endangered Species: A Visual Response to the Vanishing Black Man, New Works by Raub Welch Red White and Black The Freedom Now Mural Thomas Miller Mosaics Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propoganda Science , Off Script: Teens Take the Field Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom Bunky Echo-Hawk: Modern Warrior Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair Ancient Americas Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence Crown Family Play Lab Earnst & Young Three-D Theatre Evolving Planet Extreme Mammals DNA Discovery Center Grainger Hall of Gems Hall of Jades Pacific Spirits Sue The T. Rex Titan's of the Ice Age Underground Adventure Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Tel. 847.967.4800, ilholocaustmuseum.org) Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist Croation Righteous Among the Nations: A Photographic History Keep Calm and Carry On: Textiles on the Homefront in WWII Britain Harvy L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition Karkomi Permanent Exhibition Legacy of Absence Gallery Rescue and Renewal: The Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Collection of Hebrew Theological College Museum of Science and Industry (Tel. 773.684.1414, msichicago.org) 80 at 80 All Aboard the Silver Streak: Pioneer Zephyr Coal Mine Earth Revealed Fast Forward…Inventing The Future Future Energy Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery NetWorld Science Storms Things Come Apart Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives You! The Experience Shedd Aquarium (Tel. 312.939.2438, sheddaquarium.org) Abbott Oceanarium Amazon Rising Aquatic Show Caribbean Reef Jellies Polar Play Zone Waters of the World Wild Reef Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (Tel. 312.332.1700, spertus.edu) All Around the House Woof and Drash: Weaving the Jewish Experience

December2013

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Exhibit Closes January 12, 2014 Exhibit Closes February 23, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes February 2, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Begins February 16, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 5, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 24, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes February 2, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 12, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 20, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Closes November 20, 2013

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EvolvingLenses By JEANETTE BLAYLOCK

Insider and Outsider Perspectives tell the tale at The Museum of Contemporary Art's new exhibition, City Self.

50•CNCJAWinter 2014


Curator's Corner

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The moment you arrive in any city, the city’s culture begins to affect who you are. Chicago has undoubtedly changed each of its over 3 million residents—myself included. Those changes, and what they mean about our relationship to the Windy City, are the focus of the new Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit, City Self. Running through April 13, 2014, the exhibit explores what it means to see the city through two lenses: the outsider and the insider. Each new transplant to the city begins as an outsider. Though I grew up 90 minutes from Chicago (and visited often), I left the state for nearly a decade before moving to the city last May. Upon my return, Chicago seemed overwhelming and almost blinding at first, kind of like seeing the bright sun after years of living in darkness. Slowly, certainly, my eyes began to adjust. I spent a lifetime seeing the city as an outsider, but now, with each passing day, I am becoming more a part of the city and it is becoming more a part of me. I see it differently now: as a crazy-quilt patchwork of neighborhoods, a city of greystones as much as skyscrapers. City Self incorporates artwork from the MCA's

collection by both insiders and outsiders, and pivots the dialectic between these groups as the focus of this intriguing new exhibit. At City Self's center is Chicago, a 70-minute long cinematic portrait of the city made by New York-based artist Sarah Morris. Morris's city portraits of locales both within the United States and abroad use a telescopic zooming technique that gives, according to museum curator Dieter Roelstraete, “a slight conspiratorial flavor. It's almost a self-portrait of the city, the city looking at itself in a mirror.” Roelstraete, himself a recent Chicago transplant, saw the film for the first time when it premiered in Europe in 2011, just after his first visit to the Windy City. In this, his first collection exhibit for the MCA, he brings Morris's Chicago to American audiences for the very first time. Above: Catherine Opie, Untitled 2 (Chicago) from American Cities series, 20042005. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange. © 2004-2005 Catherine Opie (photo Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago).

Winter 2014CNCJA•51


Curator's Corner

The film, along with its electronic

to reveal the people of the city, unaware of any observer. The film has no narrative structure, but does show temporal development, starting in the

score by Liam Gillick, “taught me quite a bit,” says Roelstraete. “(Morris) had seen the same things I saw, in a way—the things she zoomed in on in the film, they were the things I saw. There was a sense of recognition.” Morris's technique gives a feeling of ground-level intimacy (Roelstraete compares it to eavesdropping) and her work will appeal both to people who are just visiting and those who have lived here all their lives. “It's very tourist-friendly, but it is also naturally alluring to long-term residents of the city who might want to see their home,” explains the curator. “People can come to see their house in it, whether they live in Marina Towers or somewhere in Aurora.” While architecture is one of the main focuses of Chicago, the film is not simply an architectural tour. Morris's gaze takes viewers to Fermilab (where the nation's largest particle accelerator was recently shut down), the Vienna Beef factory and Playboy headquarters. The camera's long zoom sometimes penetrates through car and building windows, lingering

morning and evolving toward scenes later in the day. For Roelstraete, who has focused on the insider/outsider dialectic in his curation before, seeing the film again was a new experience—for the first time, at its premiere, he found himself taking it in not as an outsider, but as a resident of the city. For him, curating the collection has meant

To understand the way Chicago is truly by insiders and outsiders is to understand city changes human perception.

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learning the differences in the ways residents and non-residents see Chicago. “Many of the photographs in the exhibit are made by outsiders, and many of these works have an alienating feel—very cinematic, I wouldn't say spooky, but a slightly haunted quality to the city that they see,” says Roelstraete. “Some of the work from the collection by local photographers is warmer, and has more of a human inflection in many ways.” Photographers shooting Chicago from the outside tend to see the city, in many ways, as I did when my family would come to the city from Rockford. They see the magnificent skyline at night, the river, the lake and the tall straight lines emerging from it. Photographs by Catherine Opie, taken from 20042005 as part of her American Cities series, aptly show the Chicago of outsiders: striking and severe, a cold space that can look almost futuristic. “Outsiders gravitate toward architectural icons, and have more of a panoramic scope,” says Roelstraete. Insiders tend to depict their city as intimate, even cozy, showing smaller scenes and focusing more tightly on city life even when looking at buildings. Drawings by comic book artist Chris Ware reflect an intimate

viewed how the

familiarity with Chicago's residential streets, using his unique style to take us inside the many homes and lives of Chicagoans. Among the most striking of the insiders' photographs may be Michelle Keim's Lake II, which sees Lake Michigan not with its sandy shoreline, but as an almost Rothko-like expanse of deep blue with near tangible depth. Morris's film, in moments, echoes this feeling, with long zooms that show large lake expanses interrupted only by the geometric white of balloons or sails. All is not well in the Chicago Morris reveals. The city's downtown has a police and security presence that would have seemed out of place and alienating to American viewers only a decade ago. While the publishing and meatpacking industries used to employ large numbers of Chicagoans, Morris's film shows these industries being slowly replaced. The camera reveals how Hugh Hefner's once-raucous Playboy empire is now a stark edifice, an institution more venerable than venereal. Two special events were planned to give museum guests an opportunity to get an even closer look at the work of City Self. A screenAbove: Catherine Opie, Untitled 1 (Chicago) from American Cities series, 20042005. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange. © 2004-2005 Catherine Opie (photo by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago).

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Curator's Corner

ing of Chicago followed by a discussion with artist Sarah Morris, which took place on November 19th at 6 p.m., and a curator tour with Dieter Roelstraete, which will be held at noon on December 10. To understand the way Chicago is truly viewed by insiders and outsiders is to understand how the city changes human perception. As I observed the works of City Self, I couldn't help realizing the ways in which my own experience of Chicago is continuously evolving as my perspective shifts from the panoramic to the intimate. 54•CNCJAWinter 2014

Museumgoers looking to see Chicago through these evolving lenses can visit City Self and perhaps begin to understand the city from a new perspective—or perhaps reveal something far more intimate and personal about their relationship to place. While it would be all too easy to see the new exhibit as simply a show about Chicago, City Self goes a step further by showing how the city’s core is able to take root in our deepest selves, shifting our own perspectives, without our even knowing it.


Above: Kenneth Josephson, Chicago, 1972, 1972. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of the Foster Charitable Trust in memory of Reuben A. Foster. © 1972 Kenneth Josephson; From top right: Jonas Dovydenas, Chicago Avenue and St. Nicholas Ukranian Catholic Cathedral, 1977. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Jonas Dovydenas, Reverend Gyomay Kubose, West Leland Avenue, 1977. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Art Shay, Nelson Algren Being Dealt to by the Real Life Man with the Golden Arm, 1949. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Florence Shay, Titles, Inc. (photos by Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago); Sarah Morris, Still from Chicago, 2011. HD video. (photo courtesy of the artist)

Winter 2014CNCJA•55


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Museums Exhibits

DuSable Museum of African American History (Tel. 773.947.0600, dusablemuseum.org) Kin Killin' Kin A Slow Walk to Greatness Africa Speaks "Charlie Palmer" The Dream Lives On Endangered Species: A Visual Response to the Vanishing Black Man, New Works by Raub Welch Red White and Black The Freedom Now Mural Thomas Miller Mosaics Field Museum of Natural History (Tel. 312.922.9410, fieldmuseum.org) Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propoganda Science , Off Script: Teens Take the Field Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom Bunky Echo-Hawk: Modern Warrior Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair Ancient Americas Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence Crown Family Play Lab Earnst & Young Three-D Theatre Evolving Planet Extreme Mammals DNA Discovery Center Grainger Hall of Gems Hall of Jades Pacific Spirits Sue The T. Rex Titan's of the Ice Age Underground Adventure Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (Tel. 847.967.4800, ilholocaustmuseum.org) Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist Croation Righteous Among the Nations: A Photographic History Keep Calm and Carry On: Textiles on the Homefront in WWII Britain Harvy L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition Karkomi Permanent Exhibition Legacy of Absence Gallery Rescue and Renewal: The Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Collection of Hebrew Theological College Museum of Science and Industry (Tel. 773.684.1414, msichicago.org) 80 at 80 All Aboard the Silver Streak: Pioneer Zephyr Coal Mine Earth Revealed Fast Forward…Inventing The Future Future Energy Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery NetWorld Science Storms Things Come Apart Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives You! The Experience Shedd Aquarium (Tel. 312.939.2438, sheddaquarium.org) Abbott Oceanarium Amazon Rising Aquatic Show Caribbean Reef Jellies Polar Play Zone Waters of the World Wild Reef Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (Tel. 312.332.1700, spertus.edu) All Around the House Woof and Drash: Weaving the Jewish Experience

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Exhibit Closes January 12, 2014 Exhibit Closes February 23, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes February 2, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Begins February 16, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 5, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 24, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Exhibit Closes January 12, 2014 Exhibit Closes January 20, 2014

Exhibit Closes February 2, 2014

Ongoing or Permanent Exhibits

Ongoing Exhibit Closes November 20, 2013

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Pacifica Quartet Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio

SCP Jazz: An Evening with Branford Marsalis University of Chicago Presents (Tel. 773.702.8068, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu) l

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz Gospel Messiah Baroque Band (Tel. 312.235.2368, baroqueband.org) Under the Influence!: Music of Locatelli, Avison, Durante, Geminiani, Vivaldi and Torelli l Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) First Monday Concert: Beethoven, Rossini and Bolcom l City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk/Americana=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=†, Country/Blue grass = ††] Jonathan Batiste**, †† l Bobby Bare Jr. w/ Nikki Lane†† l Ian Maksin w/Gabriel Datcu* l The Cooke Book w/Darrien Ford** l Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer l David Grisman Folk/Jazz Trio**†† l An Intimate Solo/Acoustic Performance by Citizen Cope* ECC Arts Center (Tel. 847.697.1000,elgin.edu/vpac.aspx) American Grands XIX Piano Spectacular Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) Savion Glover STePz by Savion Glover l Mary Wilson w/Guests The Four Tops l l Eat to the Beat: DanceWorks Chicago Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.850.9744, hubbardstreetdance.org) Fall Series Music of the Baroque (Tel. 312.551.1414,baroque.org) Crowning Glories: The Coronation Mass - Handel, Haydn and Mozart Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) Special Event: Matthias Goerne and Christophe Eschenbach Civic Orchestra: No Strings Attached CSO at the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo SCP Chamber Music: Ax and Von Otter CSO: Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma

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Photos from left: Conductor RIccardo Muti (photo by Todd Rosenberg); Members of the Dave Grisman Folk/Jazz Trio; Janis Siegel from Manhattan Transfer (photo courtesy of the artist); Members of the Pacifica Quartet (photo by saverio truglia).

Music & Dance

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Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Ghost The Musical Phantom of the Opera Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) The Merry Wives of Windsor Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Seven Guitars First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) Rough Crossing Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Luna Gale Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) An Inspector Calls Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood Quark Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Little Prince Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Lola Arias - El Año en que nací / The year I was born Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Tom Jones Profiles Theatre (Tel. 773.549.1815, profilestheatre.org) Hellcab Steep Theatre Company (Tel. 866.811.4111, steeptheatre.com) Strangers, Babies Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Tribes Strawdog Theatre Company (Tel. 773.528.9696, strawdogtheatre.org) Pontypool Theater Wit (Tel. 773.975.8150, theaterwit.org) Sweet Smell of Success A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Flight Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) Golden Dragon Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Port Authority

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The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.

Photos from left: SInger Reyna De Courcey (photo courtesy of the artist); Touring cast of Phantom of the Opera (photo courtesy of Broadway in Chicago); Cast of Port authority (photo Courtesy of Writers Theatre); Lola Arias El Año en que nací. (photo by David Alarcon).

Theater


Winter 2014CNCJA•59

Lynn Saville and Rueben Wu Street Level Project Space - Stefano Cusso: Arson

Give the culture lover you love the gift of Chicago's amazing arts & culture with a subscription to Clef Notes Journal's print magazine. THROUGH DECEMBER 20TH ONLY, subscribe online for only $9 (55% off the single issue newsstand rate).

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Clef N tes

Listings for permanent or ongoing exhibits at museums listed in the Almanac can be found on pages 48, 48 & 56.

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Simply visit us online at ClefNotesJournal.com and click on the "Subscribe" tab or scan the QRC code above to to access these savings.

Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com)

Ed Paschke Drawings 10th Anniversary Show

McCormick Gallery (Tel 312-226-6800, thomasmccormick.com) Michael Hedges Melanie Pankau Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Group Show Leslie Wolfe: PURSEverance Russell Bowman Art Advisory (312.751.9500, bowmanart.com)

Laura Fosberg & Emmett Kerrigan

Carl Hammer Gallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Bill Rauhauser: Street Beat Echt Gallery (Tel. 312.442.0288, echtgallery.com) Daniel Clayman Linda Warren Projects (Tel 312-432-9500, lindawarrenprojects.com)

J anuary2014

Give the gift of Culture this season!

Galleries


Photo courtesy of Josh Lattanzi and The Candles

New York folk rock band The Candles, with front man Josh Lattanzi (centered).

60•CNCJAWinter 2014


Around Town

T

The day before her sold-out show at Frankfurt, Germany’s 2500-capacity Alte Oper, Norah Jones still needed a warm-up act. She offered the slot to her bassist Josh Lattanzi, the frontman of the New York folk rock group, The Candles, who she knew was looking to test out some new songs live. Lattanzi spellbound the crowd, with set highlights including the hushed acoustic prayer “Passenger” and the gorgeous fingerpicked ballad “As Far As I Know.” Jones invited him to play several more shows on the tour. Lattanzi spent a decade playing bass with bands including the Lemonheads, Ben Kweller and Albert Hammond Jr. before releasing the Candles 2010 LP Between the Sounds, which proved he was underutilized as a sideman. Lattanzi will bring The Candles, which Spin magazine singled out as a South By Southwest breakout band, to Chicago's City Winery to join Rolling Stone magazine "Best New Artist" Cory Chisel in an "Evening of Holiday Mischief" on December 12. Winter 2014CNCJA•61


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Music & Dance

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Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Tel. 312.922.2110, auditoriumtheatre.org) Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre l Chicago a Cappella (Tel. 773. 281.7820, chicagoacappella.org) Melodic Migrations: Global Jewish Music l l l l Chicago Chamber Musicians (Tel. 312.819.5800, chicagochambermusic.org) First Mondays Concert: Tower and Beach l Heavenly Winds: Works by Stacy Garrop, Mozart and Jim Stephenson l l Chicago Opera Theater (Tel. 312.704.8414, chicagooperatheater.org) Queenie Pie by Duke Ellington l l l City Winery (Tel. 312.733.9463, citywinery.com/chicago) [Folk/neo-folk/Americana=*, Jazz=**, Blended/Pop, rock or soul fusion=†, Country/Blue grass = ††] Griffin House* †† l An Evening with David Crosby* l Maria Rita* †† l Steve Earle, solo and acoustic* l l l Jóhann Jóhannsson* l Harris Theater for Music and Dance (Tel. 312.334.7777, harristheaterchicago.org) MusicNOW: Folk Songs w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra l Gidon Kremer and Kremarata Baltica l Hamburg Ballet: Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler l l LINES Ballet: Constellation l LINES Ballet: Collaboration with Edgar Meyer l Joffrey Ballet (Tel. 312.386.8905, joffrey.org) Contemporary Choreographers l l l l l l l l Museum of Contemporary Art (Tel. 312.280.2660, mcachicago.org) Kyle Abraham/Abraham.in.Motion: The Radio Show l l l l River North Dance Chicago (Tel. 312.944.2888, rivernorthchicago.org) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Fall Engagement Symphony Center Presents w/Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tel. 312.294.3000, cso.org) CSO: Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma l CSO: Muti conducts Schubert Mass l l l Family: Alien Invasion - Orchestra from Planet X l CSO Chamber Music: CSO Chamber at The Art Institute l SCP Piano: Daniil Trifonov l SCP Chamber Music: Joshua Bell, violin l CSO: Haydn Military Symphony l l Beyond the Score: Haydn Military Symphony l l SCP Jazz: DeJohnette, Lovano, Spalding and Genovese Quartet l Civic Orchestra: Bach and Brahms l SCP Special Event: Soweto Gospel Choir l Boulez and Stravinsky Puccinella l l l l SCP Chamber Music: Emanual Ax and Yo-Yo Ma l SCP Orchestra Series: St. Petersburg Philharmonic l CSO Chamber Music: All-Access Ravel and Stravinsky l CSO: Boulez: Ravel and Stravinsky l l University of Chicago Presents (Tel. 773.702.8068, chicagopresents.uchicago.edu) Contempo: Myth Awakening l Third Coast Percussion l Family Concert: Third Coast Percussion l Venice Baroque Orchestra with Phiippe Jaroussky, countertenor l

February2014

The CNCJA Cultural Almanac listings are representative of schedules from participating institutions available at time of publication.


Winter 2014CNCJA•63

Theater

Galleries

10th Anniversary Show

Roy Boyd Gallery (Tel. 312.642.1606, royboydgallery.com) Leslie Wolfe: PURSEverance Russell Bowman Art Advisory (312.751.9500, bowmanart.com)

Lynn Saville and Rueben Wu Street Level Project Space - Stefano Cusso: Arson

Schneider Gallery, Inc. (Tel. 312.988.4033, schneidergallerychicago.com)

Laura Fosberg & Emmett Kerrigan Chris Cosnowski & Chris Uphues

Broadway In Chicago (Tel. 312.977.1700, broadwayinchicago.org) Alton Brown: The Edible Inevitable Tour Phantom of the Opera Chicago Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Tel. 312.595.5600, chicagoshakes.com) Gypsy A Midsummer Night's Dream Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest (Tel. 847.735.8554, citadeltheatre.org) Hospitality Suite Court Theatre (Tel. 773.702.7005, courttheatre.org) Seven Guitars First Folio Theatre in Oakbrook (630.986.8067, firstfolio.org) Rough Crossing Goodman Theatre (Tel. 312.443.3800, goodmantheatre.org) Luna Gale Buzzer Spirit of the Wild Greenhouse Theater Center (Tel. 773.404.7336, greenhousetheater.org) Mr. Shaw Goes to Washington Quark Corpus Delicti Lifeline Theatre (Tel. 773.761.4477, lifelinetheatre.com) A Tale of Two Cities Lookingglass Theatre (Tel. 773.477.9257, lookingglasstheatre.org) The Little Prince Northlight Theatre in Skokie (Tel. 847.673.6300, northlight.org) Tom Jones RedTwist Theatre (Tel. 773.728.7529, redtwist.org) Happy Steep Theatre Company (Tel. 866.811.4111, steeptheatre.com) Strangers, Babies Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Tel. 312.335.1650, steppenwolf.org) Tribes Russian Transport Strawdog Theatre Company (Tel. 773.528.9696, strawdogtheatre.org) Pontypool Miss Marx Theater Wit (Tel. 773.975.8150, theaterwit.org) Sweet Smell of Success A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Flight Victory Gardens Theater (Tel. 773.871.3000, victorygardens.org) The Golden Dragon The Gospel of Lovingkindness Writers Theatre in Glencoe (Tel. 847.242.6000, writerstheatre.org) Port Authority Carl Hammer Gallery (Tel. 312.266.8512, hammergallery.com) Bill Rauhauser: Street Beat Marcos Bontempo: Schizophrenic Episodes Echt Gallery (Tel. 312.442.0288, echtgallery.com) Daniel Clayman Linda Warren Projects (Tel 312-432-9500, lindawarrenprojects.com)

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Listings for permanent or ongoing exhibits at museums listed in the Almanac can be found on pages 48, 49 & 56.

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Winter 2014 Pickl List

Karyn Peterson's Exhibit Picks

Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine Art Institute of Chicago From the earliest years of the United States, American artists such as Raphaelle Peale used still-life painting to express cultural, political, and social values, elevating the genre to a significant aesthetic language. In the 20th century new ways of eating and socializing began to change depictions of food in art. Finally, during the 1950s and 1960s, Pop artists Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg addressed the ways in which mass production and consumption dramatically altered the American experience of food.

exhibits

William J. McCloskey. Wrapped Oranges, 1889. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Acquisition in memory of Katrine Deakins, Trustee, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1961–1985.

Today, as professional and home chefs increasingly turn toward local, organic food and American society ponders its history as a fast-food nation, this new exhibition on the historical art of eating allows viewers to look at depictions of American food and culture with new meaning and fresh eyes. Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine is on view at The Art Institute of Chicago through January 27, 2014. For more details on the exhibit, visit artic.edu or call 312.443.3600.

EXHIBITS M Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair The Field Museum of Natural History Travel back in time in this new exhibit at the Field Museum to experience the excitement of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, a glittering showcase of architecture, culture, technology, and peoples from around the world. Get a rare look at artifacts and specimens that helped launch museum and have rarely—or never—been on display since they amazed fairgoers over a hundred years ago. Opening the Vaults will be on view at The Field through September 7, 2014. Call 312.922.9410 or visit fieldmuseum.org for more details.

Emancipation Chicago History Museum Don't miss an opportunity to view a rare commemorative copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln. Issued by the president in 1863, this document forever changed the course of American history. The ongoing exhibition at The Chicago History Museum will open January 5, 2014. Visit chicagohistory.org or call 312.642.4600 for more details.

Andrew Schmidt's Theater Picks

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Tribes Steppenwolf Theatre Company Billy's intellectual and proudly eccentric English family is its own tiny empire: private languages, in-jokes and fiery arguments. Billy, deaf since birth, is the only one who truly listens. When he meets his girlfriend Sylvia, he is introduced to a larger Deaf community, which sparks a struggle for self-identity and rebellion against his family. Tribes is sharp, witty story about finding the place where you can be heard and a family that feels like home. Tribes runs at Steppenwolf Theatre December 5, 2013 through February 9, 2014. Visit steppenwolf.org or call 312.335.1650 for more information.

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Luna Gale Goodman Theatre Caroline, a veteran social worker, thinks she has a typical case on her hands when she meets Peter and Karlie, two teenaged drug addicts accused of neglecting their baby. But when she places their infant daughter in the care of Karlie’s mother, Caroline sparks a family conflict that exposes a shadowy, secretive past—and forces her to make a risky decision with potentially disastrous consequences. Luna Gale is a heartbreaking and unforgettable tale of love and betrayal. Luna Gale opens at Goodman Theatre January 18, 2013. Visit goodmantheatre. org or call 312.443.8300 for more information. Port Authority Writers Theatre in Glencoe It is possible to miss something that you never had? Acclaimed playwright Conor McPherson (The Seafarer, Shining City, Dublin Carol) explores the question in a series of interconnected stories that examine the heart and soul of three generations of Irishmen. The lightly interlocking stories of these three men at three different stages of life weave together a tale that is both spirited and moving in its portrait of ordinary lives. Port Authority runs at Writers Theatre through February 16, 2014. Visit writerstheatre.org or call 847.242.6000 for more details. Jordan Baker-Kilner making her Goodman Theatre debut this winter in Luna Gale.

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c is

Fred cummings' Music Picks

Music

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Janis Siegel from Manhattan Transfer City Winery Janis Siegel has over a dozen solo albums. With The Manhattan Transfer, Janis’ sang lead on some of the Transfer’s biggest hits. She also gained a reputation as a vocal arranger by writing five of the charts for the group’s acclaimed masterwork, Vocalese, seven charts for the group’s Grammy-winning album Brazil, and won a Grammy herself in 1980 for her arrangement of “Birdland.” The ninetime Grammy winner and seventeen-time Grammy nominee brings her silken style to City Winery January 12, 2014. Visit citywinery.com/Chicago or call 312.733.WINE for more details. Riccardo Muti and Yo-Yo Ma Chicago Symphony Orchestra Riccardo Muti launches an extraordinary exploration of the complete Schubert symphonies with the composer’s self-titled Tragic, in which Schubert’s sunny disposition shines through despite the brooding introduction and minor key coloration. CSO Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma joins fellow cellist and Silk Road collaborator Giovanni Sollima to premiere his newly commissioned Concerto for Two Cellos as well. The concert take place January 30 and 31 and February 1, 2014. Visit cso.org or call 312.294.3000 for more information.

Music

Brandenburg Concertos Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Celebrate the holidays with the complete Bach Brandenburg Concertos. Called a “New York holiday staple” by The New York Times, this festive performance is not to be missed. The concert features Joseph Lin, member of the acclaimed Juilliard String Quartet and First Prize winner at the inaugural Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand. The New York Times has lauded Lin as “a sensitive, passionate player with a glowing tone” and described his sound as “warm, flexible and perfectly centered.” The concert takes place December 18, 2013. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more details.

Brittany Rice's Dance Picks

Janis Siegel from Manhattan Transfer (photo courtesy of the artist).

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Hamburg Ballet Harris Theater for Music and Dance Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler premiered in June of 1975 and since that time, has become one of John Neumeier’s most important and defining works. The ballet is in the repertory at the Paris Opéra Ballet and the Royal Swedish Ballet. Inspired by his great love of Mahler’s music, Neumeier created a timeless ballet to express all the emotions and feelings that the Third Symphony’s score evokes in its listeners. In addition to the choreography, Neumeier also designed the costumes and lighting concept for the ballet. See the Hamburg Ballet at the Harris Theater February 19 and 20, 2014. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more details. Savion Glover’s STePz Harris Theater for Music and Dance Under the direction of Savion Glover, Savion Glover’s STePz is an exuberant celebration of tap dance to sound and sound to dance. Glover and his ensemble of dancers take tap dance to new heights while fusing traditional music selections of the past with his self-proclaimed tap style and energy of the future. This production of Savion Glover’s STePz exposes Glover’s capability of all complexities of jazz phrasing, both bass line and melody, the wild improvisations, structures and deconstruction, from departure to return. The performance takes place January 24, 2014. Visit harristheaterchicago.org or call 312.334.7777 for more details.

Dance

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University The power of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be on full display in their Chicago home at the Auditorium Theatre this spring, giving audiences a chance to see this extraordinary company is hailed as America’s Cultural Ambassador to the World. Robert Battle brings his company to Chicago for a 10 day residence with dazzling new works to beloved classics. See Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater February 28 – March 8, 2014. Visit auditoriumtheatre.org or call 312 341-2360 for more details. Hamburg Ballet dancer Edvin Revazoz in "Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler" (photo byVladimir Vyatkin ©RIA Novosti).

Winter 2014CNCJA•65


Editor's Picks

Winter 2014 Pick List

An Evening with Branford Marsalis with Ray Anderson’s Pocket Brass Band Symphony Center Presents Jazz Series

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Three-time Grammy Award-winning musician and Tony Awardnominated composer Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. The renowned saxophonist and his tight-knit working band invite audiences to an electrifying evening of original tunes, classics and standards. Opening the night is Chicago’s own trombone great Ray Anderson and his Pocket Brass Band, a quartet that packs the joyful punch of a full New Orleans ensemble. The concert takes place January 31, 2014. Visit cso.org or call 312.294.3000 for more details.

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis (photo courtesy of the artist).

Theater

The Little Prince Lookingglass Theatre Stuck, thirsty and alone. A pilot stranded in the Sahara Desert meets an enigmatic, charismatic young prince fallen from the sky who regales him with tales of life among the stars: tales with earthly importance. In this visually arresting, fully immersive theatrical interpretation of the beloved French novella, director David Catlin (creator of Lookingglass Alice) illustrates the story with fantastic characters and gravity-defying, awe-inspiring physical feats. The Little Prince runs at Lookingglass Theatre from December 5, 2013 – February 2, 2014. Visit lookingglasstheatre.org or call 312.337.0665 for more details.

Publisher's Picks

Exhibits

Gypsy Chicago Shakespeare Theatre The career of Tony nominee Louise Pitre spans theater, television and concert stages across the globe. Pitre now makes her Chicago Shakespeare debut as Rose—the most infamous of all stage mothers. Inspired by the memoirs of famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee, this jewel of American musical theater was once described by The New York Times critic Frank Rich as “Broadway’s own brassy, unlikely answer to King Lear.” Boasting one show-stopping song after another—such as “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You”—Gypsy continues CST’s exploration of the Sondheim canon under the masterful vision of associate artistic director Gary Griffin. Gypsy opens at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre February 6, 2014. Visit chicagoshakes.com or call 312.595.5600 for more details. MCA DNA: Warhol and Marisol The Museum of Contemporary Art The 1960s were important years for artists and friends Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) and Marisol (Marisol Escobar, American, b. France, 1930), and marked a formative period in the development of their individual careers.

art

Inspired by the multifaceted relationship of these two artists, MCA DNA: Warhol and Marisol presents a focused selection of their works, side-by-side, drawn primarily from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Key examples of Warhol’s silk screen paintings and Marisol’s wood sculptures illuminate the artists’ respective approaches to portraiture while the pairing of their work brings certain affinities into view, including a similar use of repeating figures. At the same time, their methods diverge in significant ways, perhaps most visibly in the contrast between Warhol’s overtly mechanical approach to painting and Marisol’s more handcrafted, labor-intensive techniques as a sculptor. The exhibit will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art through June 15, 2014. Visit mcachicago.org or call 312.280.2660 for more information. Marisol Escobar, Six Women, 1965-66. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of the artist.

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Stream more than 800 hours of music history.

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Winter 2014CNCJA•67


collaborate innovate celebrate

Hamburg Ballet

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Photo by Holger Badecow

Photo by Tristan Cook

THE HARRIS AT 10 a decade of music + dance

Harris Theater Presents

Ballet Preljocaj: Blanche Neige

Savion Glover

Photo by JC Carbonne

Photo by Lois Greenfield

Wendy Whelan Photo by Nisian Hughes

EXPERIENCE OUR EXHILARATING 10TH SEASON DECEMBER 18, 2013

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Michael Hill Series

Brandenburg Concertos JANUARY 24, 2014

Savion Glover’s STePz A new production from the tap master

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica

FEBRUARY 27 AND 28, 2014

APRIL 3, 2014

Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Trey McIntyre Project featuring Music Institute of Chicago

Two programs, including a new work by double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer and Constellation featuring Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani

MARCH 18, 2014

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Michael Hill Series

French Revelations MARCH 20, 2014

Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature

APRIL 29, 2014

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Michael Hill Series

Cello Sonatas MAY 2–4, 2014

Ballet Preljocaj: Blanche Neige Chicago premiere of Snow White

Duets created by and danced with Kyle Abraham; Joshua Beamish; Brian Brooks; and Alejandro Cerrudo, Resident Choreographer at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

The Harris at 10 Season Sponsor

Official Airline of the Harris Theater

The Harris at 10 Hotel Sponsor

CALL 312.334.7777 CLICK HarrisTheaterChicago.org VISIT 205 E Randolph

Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts' Winter 2014 Issue  

The winter 2014 issue of Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts featuring our cover story with Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Gary Griff...